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

Upcoming Events

Sat 21

Silencer Day

July 21 @ 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thu 19

Archery SPOT League

July 19 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Fri 20

Practice with a Purpose

July 20 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Fri 20

Date Night

July 20 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Sat 21

Texas License to Carry Course

July 21 @ 8:15 am - 3:00 pm

Children and Guns

By Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

As adults we learn from those who are more experienced or from our own experiences.  Children are no different in how they learn.  However, learning about firearms should not be from personal experience!  

When I grew up, there was an adult that provided a foundation for the safe use of any and all projectile devices.  Regardless of whether the device was a bow and arrow, a BB gun or a real firearm; a parent, grandparent or organization provided the basis for safe use and operation of firearms. The most noteworthy institution is the NRA. The NRA is the first and foremost promotor of safe and responsible use of firearms.

Today, we need the educational foundation we had in the past to keep our children safe around guns; as avoidance and abstinence have not been effective!

It has been proven that awareness of a subject brings positive change regarding the activity or involvement with respect to that subject.  Awareness programs about drinking and driving, teen pregnancies and STDs have proven to positively impact the outcome of participation in risky behavior.  Even if guns are not in a home, would the safety of a child benefit from knowing and understanding safe handling of a firearm?  The answer is YES!

A few years back I taught a group of women the basic fundamentals of firearm safety and use.  One of the attendees had never touched a gun and was very apprehensive of taking the class, but was invited by a friend and decoded to accompany her to the class.  Providing a basic foundation on how a firearm works, it’s basic function and the safe handling of a firearm was instrumental in reducing her anxieties about firearms and contributed to her enjoyment of the afternoon activities.  Will she buy a gun and join a shooting group?  Probably not, but she is no longer terrified of a chunk of metal!

The same can be said for the education and awareness of children.  If we acknowledge their curiosity and provide a foundation for safe handling based on the child’s level of curiosity and understanding; we can address the potential risks of that curiosity and provide a foundation to remove that risk.

For a little background…

If you are of a certain age, you grew up spending hours enacting battles in the back yard with toy soldiers, as well as ‘playing’ war in the neighborhood with the other kids.

I had an interest in guns, but we did not have any guns in the house.  I read about them, watched them used on TV and pretended my BB gun was real.  Wishing for years to have my own real rifle.  I remember that the only item on my Christmas Wish List was a lever action .22 caliber rifle.  Each year I’d be first to grab the Sears catalogue and dog ear the page with the guns and encircle ‘my’ rifle on the page.  (I was in high school when I finally got that gun; and I paid for it with my own money.)  

Back then, guns were part of the American Heritage.  Good guys carried guns on TV and confronted the bad guys.  Guns were ‘good’; and they represented ‘goodness’ in conflict.  Children were provided an education associated with guns that went a long way in keeping them from engaging in the riskier activities of the un-safe handling of a real firearm.

Attitudes about guns began to change around the late 70s and early 80s; about the time the majority of the population could be found in the city and suburbs and not in rural America.  The Christmas movie “A Christmas Story” released in 1983 is what I consider the focal point of that change in attitude.  It changed the dialogue for parents about guns; ‘guns were now bad’.  “A Red Ryder BB Gun, could shoot someone’s eye out!”  And just like that the American mindset flipped regarding firearms.

Hollywood perpetuated that mindset with more bad guys shooting innocent people on TV and in the movies.

Today, few children have any experience with a real firearm.  Although there are more firearms in circulation, fewer homes have a gun in the home.  Additionally, a large portion of society, has a perception that guns are bad and people that have guns are bad people.  This is a myth brought on by misunderstanding and the promotion of said mindset from a liberal, anti-gun campaign.

Regardless, curiosity and the intrigue of shooting a gun is still there with just about all children.  The act of shooting, both good guys and bad guys is romanticized in Hollywood.  The indiscriminant barrage of bullets from bad guys towards good guys and vis-versa tantalizes the immature brain with mythological ideas of shooting.  And there are few enthusiasts or programs around today to counter the myths of Hollywood shoot-em-ups!  

Additionally, through the complex dynamics of computer imagery, the youth of today can experience an extremely realistic depiction of war, the act of killing and the joy of conquest without the psychological foundation of understanding the difference between a game and the real world.  They have no one to provide any guidance on the safe handling and operation of a real firearm.

Proper gun handling is not taught to the youth of America as it was when I was a young Boy Scout.  There are fewer institutions and educational programs providing proper firearm safety education.  As a result, a segment of society has attached a kryptonite persona around firearms.  And we have generations of youth that are unfamiliar with the safe handling of a firearm but idolize the act of killing in video games!

You can’t satiate the curiosity of the gun by saying “no, don’t touch”.  That only fuels the desire to touch.  Satisfy the curiosity with education and an understanding of function.

This strategy works in the kitchen with knives and stoves; it works with firearms just as well.  I have friends that have taught their children gun safety from as early as 4 years old, and progressed with that training through their teen years.  Providing enough information to satisfy the curiosity while also reinforcing the dangers and safe handling of a firearm. All the while filling the curiosity while removing the mythology and intrigue of a firearm.

We have to recognize that a firearm is nothing more than a bunch of pieces of metal.  Just like a knife; if handled properly, it provides benefit – improper handling imposes significant risks!

You can start your child’s education (and your understanding of how to provide that education) of firearms with the NRA Eddie Eagle Gunsafe® Program.  Gunsafe® is an online program for pre-K up to 4th grade that helps children understand the actions to take if they find a gun.  It also helps parents teach their children how to treat firearms.

As a refresher on firearm safety; the key to the safe operation of a firearm includes:

1) ALWAYS TREAT A FIREARM AS IF IT IS LOADED UNTIL PERSONALLY CONFIRMING IT IS NOT,

2) ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot,

3) DO NOT point the firearm at anything you don’t want to destroy!

Note:  It’s best for a parent or grandparent to provide instruction in firearm safety, but if you don’t have the knowledge or equipment; seek out a professional instructor or look for a Youth Firearm Safety course in your community.  (In The Woodlands, Saddle River Range offers both individual professional instruction as well as group courses for young shooting enthusiasts.)

In summary:

Most accidental shooting incidents are the result of an individual that is unfamiliar with firearms coming in contact with a firearm.  Training and educating our youth about the proper, and safe, handling of a firearm is instrumental in keeping our children safe.  The key to firearm safety is knowledge and attitude – understanding the safe operation of a gun and having a mindset to respect what the gun can do!

Stay Alert, Stay Safe,

 

© Copyright 2018 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved.

By | February 5th, 2018|Categories: Firearms & Accessories, News|0 Comments

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