News and Information 2018-01-11T14:57:22+00:00

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Gun of the Week

Oh, Spare Me!–Should You Even Bother to Carry a Reload?

In this article our friends over at Recoil discuss the ins and outs of carrying a spare magazine for your EDC gun.

Do you carry a reload and how do you carry it? Let us know in the comments!

-Chris

 

Story by Tamara Keel, Photos by Dave Merrill

Let’s get this out in the open: You can count the number of private-citizen defensive gun uses in the U.S. when a rapid reload made the difference between a dead good guy and a live one without taking off both mittens.

Reloading a handgun mid-gunfight, outside of a military or law enforcement context is pretty unlikely. Although he’s talking about carbines rather than pistols, a great quote from trainer Randy Harris springs to mind: “If you empty one 30-round mag in civilian-world USA, you’re going to be on the news … if you empty two, you’re going to be in the encyclopedia …”

Another trainer, Claude Werner, studies the reports of private-citizen defensive gun uses as collected in sources like the NRA’s Armed Citizen column. Over time, he’s found the average number of rounds needed in these encounters is low. One month, May of 2017, the average round count across seven reported gunfights was only 1.43 rounds per incident. That’s not a lot. Unless you find yourself caught up in the middle of an action-movie shootout, you’re highly unlikely to need that reload.

And yet having a spare magazine along if you’re carrying a self-loading pistol is still considered best practice — for reasons that can be broken down into three basic categories. It’s worth exploring them further, as well as the best ways to carry a spare in the event one of these situations actually comes up.

Read more: http://www.recoilweb.com/oh-spare-me-should-you-even-bother-to-carry-a-reload-132740.html#ixzz53uO4Uz9f

By | January 11th, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments

Your New Year’s Resolution: Visit the Range More!

By Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

 

Happy New Year.  We’ve enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and probably been given some new, fun gifts (hopefully one or two that make bang noises!).

We’re throwing away the 2017 calendar and tearing the plastic wrap off the 2018 calendar.  So with the new calendar and New Year comes the traditional act of resolutions.  We want to help you with some resolutions we know you can keep throughout the year.  And as an “Oh By The Way” that new tax law should be putting some extra money back in our pocket to help achieve your resolutions; and maybe even buy the present you wanted for Christmas but didn’t get!

As we turn the corner into 2018; let’s focus on getting better… better accuracy, better control, better timing!  And, in order to get better, we have to get to the range and shoot more.  But let’s not just shoot more, let’s practice; and practice more effectively.

If you don’t already, let’s plan to make at least one trip to the range each month as a goal for 2018 (more if possible).  And let’s not just go there for an hour and punch holes in a paper target.  You want to improve your skills; and you can’t do that if you continue to do what you’ve done: take lessons with an experienced instructor.  Challenge yourself with some more difficult presentations and targets.  Add some friendly competition with a fellow shooter; or introduce someone to the joy of shooting.

Plan to meet your instructor every month and get the most out of your training sessions.  Let your instructor know what you want to accomplish; and be specific.  Some examples might include: tighten the spread pattern at a specific distance, improve control with double-taps, more timely response to failures – or just more confidence with your draw and presentation.  Each month review the previous improvements and add a new drill to hone your overall shooting skill.  And ask your instructor for some dry –fire and live-fire drills you can conduct on your own – an excuse for another day at the range.  As if we needed an excuse!

And don’t forget to have your instructor review the various failures and responses.  If you haven’t conducted a “Failure to Fire” or “Failure to Extract” exercise in a while; maybe it’s time for a review and some practice.

Ask a friend join you at the range and run through some basic shooting drills.  When you are both comfortable; add some more complex target presentations and see who’s got the tighter grouping.  Make it a fun, friendly competition.

Additionally, let’s add to our resolutions with at least one basic firearms class and one intermediate firearms class this year.  Find a class, sign up and encourage a friend to sign up with you; it’s always more fund to learn with a friend.

These additional courses, improve your firearm safety, increase your confidence with the firearm and enhance your skill and reaction time.  Our Law Enforcement Officers and military are required to requalify regularly, why shouldn’t we have a similar mindset to continue improving our knowledge, capabilities and confidence…

The high level skills of firearm safety, marksmanship and self-defense are perishable.  You’ve seen it yourself.  You work to get a grouping inside a quarter, take the summer off and the grouping is back to a playing card.  If we don’t continuously work on our safety, marksman and timed skills, they deteriorate.

  1.  You get it; and you’re on board.  What next:  1) Block out an hour each month to visit the range.  2) Get an instructor – call Saddle River Range and discuss which instructor might be the right fit for you.  3) Look at the range training calendar and offered times for Private Instruction (PI) Saddle River Range’s website. 4) Sign up for a PI and basic class that you’d like to attend (even if you’ve taken it before, it’ll be a good refresher to polish up your skills).  Then sign up for an intermediate or advanced class with prerequisites which you meet; book them and put them in the calendar and attend.  5) Buy a bunch of ammo, repack your gun bag and clean/lube your firearm.  And finally, have fun at the range this year.

Shooting; whether pistols, rifles or shotguns require practice to maintain a level of confidence and safe operation.  If it’s been a while since you’ve practiced.  Make that resolution to spend more time practicing; and not just showing up and shooting – make an effort to learn from someone that is trained to help you improve your skills and abilities.

Looking forward to seeing you guys at the range in 2018.

Stay Alert, Stay Safe,

 

© Copyright 2018 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved.

By | January 3rd, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments

Staying Safe in Public

By Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

 

Whether you are out shopping, at a holiday party, dinner with the family our even at church; today we are at a higher threat level than in the past.

We have had several incidences recently where the public has been attacked in what would be considered relatively secure venues.  

Physical violence does exist. It can materialize anywhere we might be.

As the holidays approach and more people will be in public, the potential for violent attack rises.

In consideration of today’s environment, have you changed how you provide for your personal safety and the safety of your family?

The primary consideration is: DO NOT let these incidents impede or restrict the life you want to live.  REFUSE TO LET FEAR PREVAIL.  And don’t let someone else prevent you from living.

To live, we must venture beyond the castle wall; and we must be watchful of the threat and be ready to respond.

We have preached that an awareness of happenings around you is ninety percent of your safety protocol.  Paying attention to your surroundings and taking action when the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end is the best way to keep you and your family safe.  So let’s review the basics of what you see while paying attention, and build on that.

Some of us walk through life unconsciously looking for things.  We notice and acknowledge normal and emergency exits, fire extinguishers, AEDs, open pathways, and strange/erratic actions by others to name a few.  As we walk through life, we have our heads up looking and our hands free ready to react.  In contrast to having our hands wrapped around a cell phone at the waist staring towards the ground into a mind numbing digital screen.  Consider how often you seen someone staring at their phone and bump into someone else or a stationary object?

Let’s put the distractions away and observe.  Look where you are heading as well as to your sides and above.  See, and be aware of your surroundings. Stop on occasion and look where you’ve been.

Most importantly; DO NOT BE SURPRISED!  Know what is behind you; and what is out of place!

Although this is not an all-inclusive list, here are a few things to be watching for while in public: 

  • Pace and flow of people.  Steady and directional or increased tempo and erratic?
  • Background noise.  Normal din of people, or staccato and higher pitched (screaming)?
  • Where are exits, cover, or concealment?  Can you side step the rush of people?  Can you barricade your exit once through?
  • If there is security, do you see them?  When did you last see one?
  • Are there tools nearby that can be used for protection or medical emergency?  If you have to take action, are there materials you can use?
  • Remember the details.  If called upon by authorities, be a good witness.
  • Finally.  Do you engage? Do you lead the response?

There is a lot to consider; but it’s not “Super Hero” stuff!  It’s regular tasks and actions that the average person can undertake to stay safe, keep the innocent around them safe and provide assistance to law enforcement as necessary.

Naturally, this is just scratching the surface; but it’s designed to get you to engage, learn and practice.  Take a Protecting The Innocent class from Saddle River Range and keep learning.

Stay Alert, Stay Safe,

 

© Copyright 2017 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved.

By | December 4th, 2017|Categories: News|0 Comments

Holiday Safety

By Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

We’re going to take a twist on the normal holiday safety article this year and go back in time to learn what we need to know for the future.

It was the mid-1960; and boys around the age of 8 and 9 were being introduced to what would be considered today a para-military organization.  In reality it was just the Boy Scouts.  It was a place where fathers and sons could learn the foundation of citizenry, self-respect, self-reliance and service to others.  

It was a place where leaders of the future would learn about service to others, honor and ethics.  It was a place where boys could grow to men with guidance and mentorship.

So what was so important about the past that can help us in the future?

Knowledge!  The most important concept of the Boy Scouts is their motto: “Be Prepared.”  “Be Prepared”.  Seems a bit simplistic, maybe even a little comical today, but there are millions of men in this country that pledge an allegiance to that motto every week.  Men today that are community leaders, business leaders; and those that have put their lives in harm’s way in our Armed Services and Law Enforcement.  They took away from that experience as young men the notion that service to others is important, that self-respect is important and that planning for what could happen can save a life.

“Be Prepared”.  Stay alert when walking through the parking garage; be prepared for the unexpected.  Be watchful while in public places; be prepared for the possibility.  Be knowledgeable; be prepared for a medical emergency.

Scouting has fallen out of favor in today’s technological society, it’s no longer cool to be a scout.  But scouting shaped the character of men to be prepared and look out for others.  That character is in demand more so today than ever before.  

Men, and women, that can extend a watchful eye across a parking lot, or across the street, to look for suspicious behavior.  Those that will remain alert when in public, looking for an opportunity to serve another.  Those that are prepared for an emergency, whether medical or life threatening.  

Scouting was the foundation upon which men of character were built.  That foundation, that character shaped a mindset.  A mindset to care for others, protect others and prepare for what may happen.

So, what does this have to do with holiday safety?!  

We are safer as a community, when we watch out for each other as well as for ourselves.  We are approaching the holidays; a more festive environment; and the criminal element is waiting for you to let down your guard.  

Make sure doors are locked at home and the alarm is set.  Have motion sensor lights stationed at entry ways and blind-spots.  Take extra care when shopping, don’t load yourself down with packages heading to the car, and protect your credit cards (it is recommended that you buy fix dollar cards that you can reload and leave your regular card at home to limit the potential loss of cash and exposure of identity).  Keep your car in the garage at night; but if you must leave it outside – take everything out of it and LOCK the doors.

If you are prepared for what might happen, you can probably prevent a lot of what could happen.

We’ll leave you wishing you a joyous and uneventful holiday season; and remember to be prepared.

For a holiday safety checklist, click here.

Stay Alert, Stay Safe,   

© Copyright 2017 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved.

By | October 30th, 2017|Categories: News|0 Comments

Buying a Conceal Carry Handgun

By: Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

At a recent social event, the topic of carrying concealed came up and one of the participants in the conversation asked “What’s the best conceal carry gun?”.

Immediately participants in the conversation were suggesting various gun manufactures and specific handguns.  Additionally, recommendations such as “smallest compact”, thinnest” and every version of caliber available for a pistol were mentioned.

Last month we discussed buying your first handgun, and the thought process of selecting a gun that meets your specific purpose for the gun.  Buying a carry gun requires as much if not more thought and consideration.

First: DON’T BUY THE CHEAPEST GUN IN THE GUN CASE!  And DON’T buy what your buddy, or the store salesperson says is the “best gun out there”.  Buying a gun is personal, buying a carry gun; even more so!

Second: Consider how you will carry the gun.  What will your daily activities allow?  Your lifestyle will impact your decision on how and what to carry.  Are you regularly behind the same desk every day, or with different people in a different office every other day?  Does your lifestyle allow for more casual clothes, or more business attire?  In this evaluation, determine how you would carry your gun every day – regardless of location or dress.  Experts recommend that the method of carry of a firearm for protective defense should be the same regardless of your various circumstances.  Responding to a threat is mostly muscle memory; and if your gun is moved to a different carry method based on changes in your situation or dress, your response will be clumsy and may cost you your life.  Once you recognize and understand your lifestyle limitations and/or restrictions, if any; then we can move to the next step.

Third: Find a friendly, knowledgeable gun shop.  One in particular comes to mind!

Fourth: Last week we discussed the feel and fit of buying your first gun.  The same is necessary for your first carry gun; with the added consideration of trying various holsters with various handguns with different carry methods.  You have to have the right fit and feel for the way you carry as well as the gun you carry.  (When deciding on my first carry gun, I spent more than two months checking out two dozen different guns and carry methods…)

Naturally, you’ll want a smaller gun; but the size is determined by your lifestyle, the method of carry and your attire.  I know people that conceal .45 caliber 1911s – their lifestyle, cloths and daily routine accommodates that gun for them.  I know others that carry a “pocket gun” as a result of various limitations and restrictions in their lifestyle and daily routine.  And there is everything in between.

Your Saddle River Range sales clerk will walk you through a process of trying the feel and fit of various handguns, carry methods and holsters.  Spend the time to find the right fit for you: you’ll be wearing this gear all day every day.  And you need to practice what you wear; but that’s a different article.

Stay Alert, Stay Safe,

 

© Copyright 2017 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

 

For more information from a different perspective check out  Outdoorniinjas.com

By | October 2nd, 2017|Categories: News|0 Comments

Buying Your First Handgun

By Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

We have written several articles on benefits of having a firearm for personal protection and family security.  While we think having a firearm can provide an increased level of safety and security, it’s not the firearm per se; but the attitude and training that go along with it that increases the level of security for you and your family.

However; if you’re new to the idea of using a firearm for defense or just new to firearms in general, how do you decide what is the best handgun to buy?  Conduct a Google search on handguns for sale and you’ll see that you have hundreds of options.

In part one of this series; we are going to review some of the primary comparisons of various handguns available to purchase today.

We’ve talked with instructors, gun store counter personnel, law enforcement professionals and regular gun owners about “the first handgun” and some of the responses include: “You can’t go wrong with a (insert manufacture name here)”; “this is what your husband, boyfriend, brother has”, “you need at least a (insert caliber here)” and this one we just can’t understand “it’s pink, girls love pink!”.

On the surface, a handgun is nothing more than a hand held firearm.  But; there are various categories of handguns.  The primary variables are:

  1. Revolver or Pistol (magazine loaded, slide action).
  2. Full size, compact, sub-compact or Pocket
  3. Barrel size (caliber)
  4. All metal or composite
  5. Hammer (Double action or Single action) or Striker Fired

And there are almost a hundred different manufactures to add complexity to your decision.

We have outlined various categories and suggested a few recommendations to ignore.  Now let’s consider some guidance in selecting a handgun that you’ll enjoy shooting.

If you are buying your first gun, or looking at a second or third; here is what you need to consider:

  1. Ask yourself how you’ll be using this handgun.  Buying a gun to take to the range once a quarter and keep in a quick access vault next to the bed will be different that buying a gun to carry concealed while you meet with clients as a custom jeweler.
  2. Ignore everything else until you find a gun that fits your hand.  Can you comfortably place the back strap of the grip in the webbing between you index finger and thumb and get the second through fourth fingers around the grip while positioning the tip of your index finger on the trigger.  Before you shoot your first round, hold a dozen or more guns in your hand and check for the “fit and feel”.
  3. Consider the weight of the gun.  You’ll want to be able to hold the gun at arms-length for a duration of time to allow for around ten shots.  You don’t want it so heavy as to cause you to drop your aim after each shot, but heavier handguns help absorb the recoil.
  4. Ignore the caliber..

Find a gun store and a clerk that will help guide you to the right gun, not someone pointing you towards what they like.

As soon as you make your purchase, bring your gun to the range, hire an instructor and have some fun; and welcome to the world of “SHOOTING”.

Be Aware, Be Safe.

© Copyright Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch 2017

By | September 5th, 2017|Categories: News|0 Comments