Sunday, April 8, 2012

Froglube, my new favorite CLP

Froglube.com

For quite a while now, I'd been hearing from friends about this product called Froglube.  My only thoughts at the time were "What a funny name for a gun cleaner!"  I really didn't think much of it, but I kept seeing the name pop-up on friends Facebook profiles, with comments telling me how good it is.  There again, I try not to by into hype, so I ignored the comments and went about my day.  Finally, two of my good friends and fellow shooters, Matt DeVito from Down Range Firearms Training and Benny Bennett, introduced me to David and Grace Holzinger, who are the owner's and operators of BackupSupply.net.

Grace Holzinger went on to explain the benefits of Froglube to me, such as the fact that it is non-toxic, all natural, doesn't stain, and smells good.  Some background information before we proceed:
I have a daughter who is turning four next month and a son who is turning three in June.   Both have taken an interest into shooting as they watch me clean my firearms (while exercising the basic rules of safety) and want to help out.  I had been using M-Pro 7 to clean my guns, which has three separate components, a cleaner that is spray on, a lubricant that is dropped onto high friction points, and a protectant that  is rubbed onto the finish.  It is also non-toxic, but smelled a bit funny.  Being non-toxic means that after I thoroughly clean a part, I can then hand it to one of the kids who then grab a toothbrush and pretend to scrub the part before they hand it back to me for reassembly.  It creates a great time for bonding, an educational situation for my children, and my guns get cleaned.  The problem I was having is that they M-Pro 7 just wasn't getting my parts clean enough without scrubbing super hard, and the three step process was a pain in the butt.  So, after Grace explained to me that Froglube is edible(not sure why I'd want to eat my gun lube, but with kids who constantly stick their hands in their mouth...maybe not such a bad idea), it doesn't stink up my house (the wife appreciates the house not smelling like a machine shop), and it doesn't stain (I only have so many nice clothes), I was impressed.  I was further impressed when Grace offered to send me some samples to use and to share with my students.  


So yesterday I was able to extensively shoot while using Froglube as directed.  It applies easy and really gets into all of the essential nooks and crannies of the pistol.  It smells like spearmint gum to me, which is a plus, and it is able to clean off dirt and grime with little to no scrubbing.  In most cases I just wiped off the metal or polymer and it was clean.  Froglube claims to increase accuracy if applied inside of a heated barrel and allowing it to permeate into the metal of the bore. While I cannot attest to whether or not this works, I did try this, and it did aid in the cleaning process.  Also, as a protectant, you can literally feel the difference in the surface of both polymers and metals, as they are smooth as silk.  It doesn't leave your hands feeling greasy, and is actually quite pleasant feeling on the skin, nice for those like me who have sensitive skin that breaks out in a rash if certain chemical get too close to it!

In short, I'm a Froglube convert and intend to buy more of this product to use for shooting, and whatever else I can figure out to use it for (it works well on knives as well, smoothing the assisted opening action on my Sog Trident folding knife).  For those interested, please check out Froglube through one of their dealers, or if you'd like, support BackupSupply.net by purchasing through them!    Their information for contact is below:
Call:
(925) BACKUP6
(925) 222-5876
 
Email:



Glock Vs. M&P and my verdict!

Yesterday I taught my Defensive Pistol I course for a couple of students.  One of the students had just purchased a Generation 4 Glock 19, and I was using my new Smith and Wesson M&P9c.  While his was completely stock, with none of the extra back straps installed, my M&P has updated sights, via Ameriglo Pro-glo front paired to a 10-8 u-notch rear, and has a stippled grip, done by yours truly.  Otherwise, both were stock, and I only had 50 rounds through mine prior to this class while his had never been shot, or lubed.

Needless to say I was extremely excited to test out the M&P and the Glock both.  As a little background info, I have tendinitis in my right wrist (from years of use while sitting at a computer, although some claim its from other activities...I will deny, deny, deny).  I began shopping for a gun to replace my daily carry which was a custom 1911 full-size.  I spent a lot of time researching what I wanted in a replacement for my daily carry, and my conclusion was I either wanted to be a Glock 19, or an M&P9c.  When I finally had the money set aside to make my purchase, I wanted to handle both guns again before making my decision.  I'd shot plenty of Glocks before as well as M&P's, but I wanted to refresh my memory how each handled for me.  I went to our local gunshop, and was disappointed to see that they only had a couple of generation 3 Glock 19's in stock and one generation 4 glock 26.  They had multiple M&P's in different flavors so I had the opportunity to handle the full-size and the compact.

Now here is where it got a bit tricky when shopping.  The 3rd generation Glock 19 didn't have the adjustable back straps, and is it was it felt awkward when pointing it, as I had to focus on bringing my front site down when at full arm extension.  Now we've all heard the arguments about the Glock's grip angles, and while it seemed a bit awkward at first, I honestly believe people who say that it doesn't point right, are full of crap.  Training with it would make the grip angle complaint non-existent, so that didn't bother me much.  I will say this, I hated the feel of the Glock 26, which was smaller than the M&P9c.  I'm not sure if its because of the back strap the store had installed, or if it was just because I'm not a fan of subcompacts.  It just wasn't for me.  So I continued shopping, and came up with the following criteria for the gun I was wanting:

1.  I don't like stock 3 dot or even ball and cup(Glock) sights.  I prefer a hi-vis front sight, ala the Ameriglo Pro-Glo front sight and a black U-notch 10-8 rear.  This setup is available for both the M&P and the Glock, so no problems with that.

2.  I found the exterior grip of the M&P and Generation 3 Glock 19 to be a bit slick in my hand, so either one was going to get stippling treatment once purchased.

3.  At the time of dry firing and from past experience, both the Glock and M&P triggers felt gritty to me, coming from shooting Single Action Only 1911's and Hi-Powers.  A trigger job of some sort is in order.

4.  Eventually, I'd like to be able to mount a Miniature Red Dot sight on the slide of my carry pistol.  Both Glock and M&P's have aftermarket support and gunsmiths willing to do this!
Chris Costa's M&P9c

www.bowietacticalconcepts.com

Bowie Tactical concepts M&P

5.  Stock finish of the pistol frame and slide doesn't matter, as eventually its going to get a custom cerakote job, thanks to Shelley Rae for posting pics of her M&P with a custom Snakeskin finish that has become my envious vision for my own pistol!
Image taken from http://www.weaponoutfitters.com/ for all of your tactical needs! 

I'm thinking in a pattern resembling a copperhead's skin!


So with my criteria clearly outline, I realized that the only difference between the two would be the price.  I was able to get my local shop to go down to $409 prior to tax on the M&P while the Gen 3 Glock they wouldn't budge on the price at $549.  So, did I really like the Gen 3 Glock enough to pay $150 dollars more??  Hell, no!  So I went home with the M&P9c.

I ended up purchasing an extra magazine, and two S&W magazine extensions for the extra magazine that I purchased and for the second magazine that came with the standard base plate as the extension makes it extremely comfortable.  Sight were purchased and I installed them on my own, which I believe only cost me $78 for the purchase of the two sights.  Then I sat down with the soldering iron and stippled it using a tree bark pattern that I feel is grippy enough for concealed carry, but doesn't cause my shirts to hang up on the texture either.  Now, we get to the point of shooting the M&P.  Out of the box, I'm able to group my first 3 shots in under 2 inches at 30 feet.  That mean's the accuracy of this firearm is easily more accurate than I am, making me a very happy owner.

Technically it was an inch and a half at 30 feet!

Back to yesterday:

Both the Gen 4 Glock 19, and my M&P9c were lubed with Froglube, as I was testing this product as well (more to follow on Froglube in next article).  Then we proceeded to shoot about 500-600 rounds through each pistol, with David (the owner of the Glock 19), my Dad Greg (a law enforcement officer and fellow instructor) and myself.

Here are my impressions of each pistol:

Generation 4 Glock 19:

David did not have any of the back straps installed on his model and the grip angle was pretty close to my M&P.  The stock texture on the Glock 19 was a huge improvement over past generations, very grippy.  That being said, I like to add custom touches to my own firearms, so it would probably get a similar stippling treatment as my M&P.  The trigger pull on the Glock 19 was much crisper and overall a better feeling trigger than the M&P.  Accuracy wise, I thought it shot fine and was easily more accurate than I am.  I loved this pistol and wouldn't hesitate to purchase one.  In fact, it is now on my list of guns to purchase when funds become available.

S&W M&P9c:
Compared to the Glock, the M&P is easier to conceal by maybe a 1/2 inch worth of grip.  It was easily as accurate, but the trigger wasn't as clean or crisp as the Glock's trigger.  I loved my stippling while gripping the gun finding it locking into my hands even after getting rather sweaty hands or after shooting for a while!  I love this gun and made a great purchase.  The price was perfect and this gun will serve as a great base to have some further work done to it.  I will eventually send this pistol off to David Bowie of Bowie Tactical Concepts to have the trigger work done, the slide milled and either a Deltapoint Red Dot or Trijicon RMR installed with back-up iron sights(as they have to be taller than stock to co-witness).


Friday, March 30, 2012

Code of Professionalism for Defensive Shooting Instructors



As a defensive firearms Instructor, there has always been a driving force for me to learn all that I can, to correct mistakes, and to educate those around with the best material in order to give them the ability to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.  Over the past year, I have surrounded myself with people in the industry that I respect both for their knowledge and their wisdom.  During this so called quest for personal development, I've been able to learn and develop at a level I never thought possible.  The below article is an outline, created by a cadre of some of the best instructors in the firearms industry who have helped define what it is to be a Defensive Shooting Instructor.  While not an original charter member myself, I have had Rob Pincus add my name to the list of those who support the code outlined below.  Please take the time to read it in its entirety as it best describes what Sheep Dog Tactical LLC, and myself are trying to accomplish.  This is a new beginning and we hope that you'll join us!

Code of Professionalism for Defensive Shooting Instructors
Seven Tenets to Teach by!
by Rob Pincus

The number of people buying defensive firearms and the number of them seeking out training and Concealed Carry Permits are continuing to rise. Concurrently, the private sector training industry has never been busier and is also growing quickly. More and more ranges are hosting courses and allowing their members to practice progressively. New Instructors are joining our ranks every day. These are all GREAT Things. As I speak with my peers in the industry about the "good times", though, one thing that is often lamented is the lack of "standards" among instructors. Thankfully, most of the focus is not on actual technique or doctrinal standards, but on standards of professionalism, safety and business practices. One of the great things about the state of affairs as it exists is the great variety in doctrines, methods and techniques that can be learned from the many professionals actively teaching defensive shooting.  This variety and the differences in what is being taught leads to the examination and critical thinking that is necessary for evolution and improvement. Sometimes, however, those differences go beyond the hard skills and bleed into areas that can cause a lot of heartburn. Areas like safety. Areas like the justification for why certain techniques are taught. Areas that often fall under the umbrella of Professionalism.

If you ask a room full of people what "professionalism" means, you'll get a lot of different answers trust me, I've done it several times! Words that are often heard include: Integrity, Knowledge, Expert, Dedication, Honor, Ethics & Standards. Recurring themes include: Attitudes, The way one conducts oneself and Respect for and from Peers & Students.

Over the past several months, I've engaged many training industry professionals in a dialogue to move towards a clearer understanding, both for us and our students, of exactly what a Professional Defensive Shooting Instructor is or how they conduct themselves. These conversations have taken place on the phone, via email, on a few ranges, in a at least a few bars, at a meeting held at SHOT Show and, most recently, during a presentation I gave on Instructor Development & Professionalism at The Rangemaster Tactical Conference in Memphis, TN. There were 40-50 people at the presentation and almost all of them were instructors. Some of their names you would recognize and I consider mentors and trailblazers, others have not had their 100th student yet and I might not even recognize if I see them next week. During that presentation, we engaged in a bit of a discussion about the concept of "professionalism" and I proposed seven tenets that are the result of the last several months of interaction. By no means are these tenets my own creation, hatched in a dark study and delivered down from a pedestal. I am certainly  They have grown from three bullet points that started in an email thread between myself, Grant Cunningham and Omari Broussard, two very different firearms instructors who are equally excellent and passionately interested in progress and professional development. Those bullet points were re-written, shared, discussed, changed, added to, taken away from and reviewed by too many other contributors to list here. The list includes names like Robbie Barkman, John Farnam and Marty Hayes, guys who have been involved in the industry since its earliest days and guys like Chris Collins, who have only recently become recognized names amongst the firearms community.  All of those contributors and contributions evolved the idea of a Professional Defensive Shooting Instructor's Code into the list of tenets that I presented last week and that I will include in this article.

As these conversations have been going on, it became apparent early on that the first thing that might need to be established for some people is that there is such a thing as a "Defensive Shooting Instructor" in the first place as opposed to just a generic "shooting instructor".  I think it is imperative, as we move forward, to distinguish the group of people, the area of study and the gear appropriate for Defensive Shooting. Just as you wouldn't show up to a skeet shooting event with a .308 rifle and expect to talk with others about mil-dots versus duplex reticles, we should be able to differentiate between the person who teaches hunter safety, target shooting or competition techniques from those who teach life & death skills meant for a very specific context of use. Similarly, there are differences between much of the gear and the techniques that make the most sense if you are trying to win competitions and the things that make the most sense to a Defensive Shooting Instructor. Once that is established, we can move on to trying to figure out exactly what that person does and how they do it.

Of course, what we actually doÉ the doctrine, the techniques, the skills themselvesÉ will never be standardized. I believe it would be a fool's quest to try to establish standards for what is taught under the banner of Defensive Shooting. In fact, I even disagree with those who have proposed that we should have universal standards for safety related issues such as student-to-instructor ratios and whether or not it is okay let students shoot & move on an imperfect range surface. I also disagree with those who would say that things like using foul language or dressing in any particular way immediately mark you as "unprofessional". I do, however, believe that there are some much less objective things that we should be able to agree on. I believe that there are some fundamental things that anyone engaging in this trade should be able to support. Those things are represented in the tenets below. Those things are subjective they are conceptual. To echo the words that I have often heard people use to describe and define "Professionalism", they indicate that a person has Integrity, Knowledge, Ethics, Dedication and Standards. They indicate that a person is interested in the ideas of Attitude, Respect and Evolution. They indicate that a person is very aware of how they conduct themselves and their courses. These, to me, are all hallmarks of Professionalism.



Over the past several weeks, these tenets have been presented to many instructors. Overwhelmingly, they have responded with "Where do I Sign?" and in fact, at both SHOT Show and the Rangemaster Conference many instructors actually did sign a copy of the tenets that was being passed around. Their names are listed below, along with a handful of professionals who have indicated their support but were not present at those times.

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:robpincus:Desktop:Untitled 2.jpgSo, whether you are an instructor or a student or just an interested observer connected to the firearms industry take a look at these tenets. Please share them in their entirety wherever you see fit, electronically or otherwise, attribute them to the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors. And, if you are interested in being on the list of those who support this code, send me an email.

-Rob Pincus

The Professional Code of Defensive Shooting Instructors

 1. I am committed to the safety of my students, and hold that the expected benefit of any training activity must significantly outweigh any known or perceived risk of that activity.

2. I believe that it is my responsibility to understand not just what I'm teaching, but WHY I'm teaching any technique or concept, or offering specific advice.

3. I recognize that defensive shooting skills, along with the drills and gear used, are inherently specialized and usually distinct from those of target shooting, competition and hunting endeavors.

4. I will encourage my students to ask questions about course material, and I will answer them with thorough and objective explanations.

5. I understand that Integrity and Professionalism are subjective traits and I strive to maintain high levels of both. I am capable of, and willing to, articulate the reasons for the way I conduct my courses and how I interact with students & peers.

6. I believe that it is valuable to engage my peers in constructive conversation about differences in technique and concept, with the goal of mutual education and evolution.

7. I believe that the best instructor is an avid student, and I will strive to continually upgrade my own skills and knowledge. As part of this belief, I understand that my own teachings need to be subject to critique and open to evolution.

Charter Supporters:
Rob Pincus, Grant Cunningham, Omari Broussard, Robbie Barkman, Tom Givens, John Farnam, Tom Givens, Mike Janich, Claude Werner, Mike Seeklander, Billy Heib, James Yeager, Chris Collins, Mike Hughes, Alessandro Padovani, Paul Gomez, Jeffrey Bloovman, Larry Yatch, Curtis Dodson, Matt Devito, Justin Johnson, Eli Brown, Brent Wheat, Mark Craighead, Jim Perrone, Bryan Collins, Stephen Pineau, John Jouvelis, Chris Juelich, George Semchak, Jr., Ian Strimbeck, Jeremy Harrison, Dr. Robert Smith, Don Edwards, George Williams, Paul Carlson, Travis White, Jeff Dyke, Ralph Greer, Paul Mehn, Tobin Maginnis, Steven Grundy, Jim Clark, Jack Feldman, Zeph Thull, Tyler Capozzi, Ron Sparrow, Randall Holmes, Marc Seltzer.


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Recoil Magazine in Review


Recently, I purchased a digital copy of the much anticipated, newly released Recoil Magazine on my Ipad.  I figured it would be similar to other gun rags out there, containing an article or two that I would enjoy.  Much to my surprise, Recoil gave me a magazine that was published for me!

In the first issue we had articles on multiple subjects from firearms, to 4x4's, even an article on Bug Out Bags and fortified homes.  What the guys over at Recoil did was brilliant!  All to often, the gun magazines get focused too much on nothing but the guns and training tips, forgetting all the other points of interest that make up "gun culture".  While every article might not appeal to all readers (I couldn't find one I didn't love), they maintain a variety that should satisfy just about every enthusiast.

The magazine is well balanced with the number of articles to ads, and the ad placement and content was great.  I loved the digital copy (this being one of my first forays into the world of digital magazines) because I could click on the linked content in the articles and ads and immediately visit the web pages for the items being discussed.

For those who love to just look at the pictures, you won't be disappointed.  I'm not sure who Recoil is employing for photographs, but they know their craft well!  Photos are beautifully laid out, with crisp clarity and great color.

For anyone looking for a great magazine with more than the standard gun magazine, check out their facebook page here.  After reading the first issue, I promptly subscribed and look forward to the release of the second issue!

**Note:  I am not affiliated with Recoil Magazine in any way, just a reader who appreciates what they have put out.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sheep Dog Tactical M&P9c

After purchasing my S&W M&P9 compact, I knew I had some work ahead of me getting it to the point where I would like to carry it.  Some people buy a pistol and immediately carry it, however I like to put at least 300-500 rounds through it, often upgrading certain parts to make things more to my liking prior to carrying the pistol on a daily basis.

When I bought the M&P I found that the sights were lacking.  While the standard white 3 dots work just fine, they are not what I prefer.  So I sourced out my own sights, matching an Ameriglo Pro Glo front to a 10-8 precision u notch rear.  This combination works well for me and is highly visibly in both normal and low light conditions.  Then I decided to make some holsters for myself.  To date, the M&P now has a dedicated OWB, and IWB and a convertible IWB/OWB.  The only part that I'm not satisfied with on my holsters is he belt loops on my OWB models, but after some research I feel it may be do to using a kydex that isn't thick enough for the loops.

After making the holsters, I wanted more grip on the pistol itself, so I found a few walk through's on grip stippling and went to it!  I practiced on a plastic tapco magazine for my AK first, and once I found a pattern I liked, I started on the pistol.  I sketched out the basic layout using a sharpie marker, then slowly filled in the pattern by using the soldering iron.  What you see is what you get!  I'd like to try more tips to see what other patterns could be made however I don't have any more polymer pistols or mags lying around.  Oh well.  Pictures of the completed projected to date are below, enjoy!












Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Interesting read: One Second After

Currently, I\'m reading the book, One Second After, by William R. Forstchen. While there are some major errors with firearms terminology, which bugs me, it\'s a thought provoking read. Similar to other survival books, this book takes place in a small mountain town after America is struck by multiple EMP\'s. So far I\'m about halfway through and enjoying it. I\'ll do a more thorough review after I finish the book.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Why I'm switching to 9mm

For the past 5 years, my daily carry was my full size model 1911 in .45 acp.  Carried cocked and locked with 8 rounds in the gun and two more 8 round mags on my belt, I felt confident that I could stop any threat presented to me.  I'd fired over 5,000 rounds through my 1911 and knew without a doubt that it was a great gun.  So why the switch?

A little history:
In 2004 I suffered a severe injury to my lower right back and hip, and had to go through six months of physical therapy.  I still suffer from back pain and sadly gained a large amount of weight after this injury.  Carrying a full-size 1911 is a lot of weight on my hip and causes lower back pain after only an hour of carrying.  I've tried suspenders and other methods of carry but none seem to help.

Last year, I was looking for additional firearms courses that I could take in order to maintain my edge as an instructor.  I stumbled across I.C.E Training and Mr. Rob Pincus.  I began following Rob on my facebook profile and was entranced by his level of understanding the defensive firearms training.  Rob takes a no-nonsense approach to these matters, but what he teaches is different from all other schools of training out there.  Unlike some industry professionals out there, Rob doesn't preach that his way is the only way "just because".  Rob backs up his way of teaching with massive amounts of scientific and applicable data.  He has also gathered together some of the top minds in the training industry and proven that we are constantly evolving.

The following article began my thought process on switch to 9mm after my body had decided I need to switch to a lighter gun. Being Wrong is Important... and, Admitting It is too!

Wanting to believe the above article I decided to find out more information so I turned to another industry professional who had recently finished an article on stopping power.  Greg Ellifritz, is an intructor with the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, as well as the Tactical Defense Institute.  He wrote the following article: An Alternate Look at Handgun Stopping Power

Both of these articles caused me to admit some of my error and to write this article, so what I've learned is below:

1. The 1911 is a great pistol, but is not the end all solution and is definitely not the best for concealed carry or even self defense in the home.

2. Just because the caliber starts with a "4" does mean that it is the ultimate show stopper in a fight.

3.  The gun that you carry is better than the one that you don't.  What I mean by this is that I found myself not carrying my 1911 due to pain, and found myself spending more time unarmed.

4.  Placement wins, and the only way to improve placement is practice.  1,000 rounds of 9mm runs around $200 currently, while 1,000 rounds of .45acp runs closer to $350.  That is almost double the amount of practice with a 9mm for the price of the .45 acp.

5.  I was training wrong.  I had been trained that we fight the way we train.  I was trained that there were certain ways of doing things and that nothing else worked.  I was wrong and have had to adapt my training courses to some new methodology.  My goal for this year is to participate in one of Rob's Combat Focus Shooting classes so that I might better apply the principles he teaches and carry that over to my own students.

6.  I learn more from teaching than I probably teach my students.


So with that being said, I'm looking at switching to a 9mm compact platform.  I have my own requirements as to what I like, and as such you will never hear me say that Brand X is better than Brand Z.  The only way to find out what works for you is by going out and putting it to the test.

Thanks for listening,
Sheep Dog Tactical

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Sig P938



Image brought to you by Gun Nuts Media (http://gunnuts.net/)
While I wasn't able to make it to ShotShow 2012 this year, I have been following the information coming from friends that made the trip, and Shelley Rae posted up this information on Gun Nuts Media about the new Sig P938.  Similar to the Sig P238 (.380 acp) the P938 features a different chambering in 9mm catering to those who prefer the more available round.  At only 0.4 inches longer than the P238, the rest of the dimensions are similar enough to be able to fit the same range of holster as the P238.

I'm especially excited at this handgun as it shares ergonomics with the classic Model 1911 pistol, but in a condensed size and 9mm chambering.  When these become available I will be purchasing one to do an in depth review on!

Note, like many other Sig Sauer Pistols, the P938 will most likely come in several color combinations like the Equinox, Elite, etc, for those that are particular about that sort of thing.

Image brought to you by Gun Nuts Media (http://gunnuts.net/)

Image brought to you by Gun Nuts Media (http://gunnuts.net/)

Image brought to you by Gun Nuts Media (http://gunnuts.net/)
Note: Photo were taken by JP Visual Design and originally posted on Gun Nuts Media

New Armor Options for Law Enforcement by Armored Mobility

Revealed at Shot Show 2012, Armored Mobility Inc, showed off their 22 pound ballistic shield that can be utilized as a personal shield or as an option to up-armor your vehicle by utilizing the built in magnets.  With its ability to handle multiple strikes, and multiple carry handles (it can be used as a stretcher in a pinch as well) this is truly a versatile device that could save lives during active shooter scenario's.  While the cost is not cheap, how can you put a price on your life?