How Many Rounds Does it Take?

Currently the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing appeals from Sunnyvale CA gun owners who are suing to stop the implementation of a new law banning magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Arguments for the appeal are centered on whether citizens are being denied the ability to defend their lives should a violent encounter occur. Court


“The district court concluded that these magazines are protected by the Second Amendment, yet nonetheless concluded that they may be prohibited entirely,” Fyock’s attorney Erin Murphy said. “Those two conclusions are fundamentally incompatible. Once something is within the scope of the Second Amendment, then flatly prohibiting it is not an option.”

Defending the ordinance, attorney Roderick Thompson said the law “does nothing to dispossess people from arms; it does nothing to categorically prevent anyone from using a firearm.” – 9th Circuit Hears Arguments on Ammo Law

As courts normally have a very narrow scope when addressing issues such as this the question, How Many Rounds Does it Take to stop a determined violent criminal is not being addressed. If we can come to a simple agreement of fact that Law Enforcement are not restricted in magazine capacity when dealing with violent felons then it should stand to reason that a citizen who might run into the same violent felon should not be restricted either.

Thompson’s argument that limited magazine capacity does not restrict a person’s right is ludicrous on its face for if a citizen faces that violent felon with an empty gun then his Second Amendment right of self-defense has effectively been taken.

So how many rounds does it take to effectively stop an attack? Two? Four? Ten? We haven’t a clue because each case is different and you will not know until the attack has ended. Thompson states you can have as many 10 round magazines you want but he never addresses the issue of what if you need more than 10 rounds and you have to do an emergency slide-lock reload. National level competitive shooters can reload while firing two shots in just less than three seconds, which is fast. Will that be fast enough as the 6’-4”, 300# doped out lunatic races towards your position? I doubt it.

I often hear the argument to my question that all you need is one well placed round. I have news for you, when that monster is shooting at you or trying to literally rip your head off a well placed shot is just not going to happen. If this were the case why not have LE carry .22 handguns. We are talking handguns people, there is no such thing as instant incapacitation unless you were to get extremely lucky.

“Shot placement is an important, and often cited, consideration regarding the suitability of weapons and ammunition. However, considerations of caliber are equally important and cannot be ignored. For example, a bullet through the central nervous system with any caliber of ammunition is likely to be immediately incapacitating. Even a .22 rimfire penetrating the brain will cause immediate incapacitation in most cases. Obviously, this does not mean the law enforcement agency should issue .22 rimfires and train for head shots as the primary target. The realities of shooting incidents prohibit such a solution.” – Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness

Okay perhaps we can give up on the one well placed shot BUT what about using the most powerful cartridge known to man . . . the .45 ACP, or perhaps the .44 Magnum depending on which movie you wish to quote for your uninformed opinion. There is NO KNOCKDOWN power in handgun cartridges, it is just not reality.

“A bullet simply cannot knock a man down. If it had the energy to do so, then equal energy would be applied against the shooter and he too would be knocked down. This is simple physics, and has been known for hundreds of years. The amount of energy deposited in the body by a bullet is approximately equivalent to being hit with a baseball. Tissue damage is the only physical link to incapacitation within the desired time frame, i.e., instantaneously.” – Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness

Ammunition selection is important for two simple facts, the bullet must be able to penetrate to major organs and create a permanent wound cavity of some size that will allow it to keep bleeding.

“The critical wounding components for handgun ammunition, in order of importance, are penetration and permanent cavity. The bullet must penetrate sufficiently to pass through vital organs and be able to do so from less than optimal angles. For example, a shot from the side through an arm must penetrate at least 10-12 inches to pass through the heart. A bullet fired from the front through the abdomen must penetrate about 7 inches in a slender adult just to reach the major blood vessels in the back of the abdominal cavity. Penetration must be sufficiently deep to reach and pass through vital organs, and the permanent cavity must be large enough to maximize tissue destruction and consequent hemorrhaging.” – Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness

In the end the way the violent adversary is stopped truly is psychological, you have to defeat his mind and a very effective way to accomplish that is to put MANY holes in his vital organs until he has decided he has had enough and ceases the attack.IMG_1482small

The Heller decision made it patently clear, we have a protected right under the Second Amendment and applying any regulation on the ammunition supply is a clear violation of that ruling.




Failing to train IS training to fail.
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Sig Sauer’s New Striker Fired P320

On Thursdays I work for a friend in his gun store, Wild Bill’s Old West Trading in Elk Grove. It keeps me up to date on what is going on in the gun business, helps Branden move some guns since most of my students buy guns I recommend and it helps me get my name out to new students.

Last Thursday of July I walk in and start looking at the display cases so I will know where all the guns are located and I see the new Sig P320C in the display case, it had just come into the store. I pulled it out, broke it down, and manipulated all of the various functions and then . . . pressed the trigger. It was an immediate WOW! Cycle slide, press again checking reset length, very nice trigger. I took the gun into the office, asked the price and voila, filled out the paperwork because I’m getting a new tool for my school.

Unlike many people, I feel I need to put a gun through its paces before I can really evaluate it. 200 rounds is not going to get it done, I need at least 1,000 rounds, without cleaning, to see if it can hold up to a modest amount of abuse. At this point my P320C now has almost 3,000 rounds through it. I’ve shot almost every drill I know with the gun, thrown it in the sand at the range and basically tried to get it to fail, which it has not so . . . I’m sold, this is a great gun. AND it comes with forward serrations on the slide which I love.

Sig has designed this gun from the blank piece of paper to a finished tool designed for the armed professional. It fits my hand well and if it did not I could quickly change the frame to a size that would. One of the key features is the gun is modular. The serialized part is the metal trigger fire control housing assembly unit which can be removed and put into any P320 frame, full size, carry size and different grip sizes in both.

If I want to carry the gun I can change the caliber by simply changing barrel and slide. I like the dual caliber capability so I can practice with one caliber and carry a different one if I so choose. If I want a full size for competition or home defense that is also an easy change. One gun, three sizes, four calibers . . extremely versatile.

The Sig 320 comes standard with SigLite Nights Sights. It has an Ambidextrous Slide Stop. The Reversible, Triangular, Raised & Serrated Magazine Release allow for fast magazine changes and depending on your hand size you do not need to regrip the gun to do so. If you live in a state where you can use suppressors the P320 comes with Factory Threaded Barrels Available for both Full Size & Carry. The P320 field strips like most of the Sigs, lock slide, turn down the take-down lever and release slide . . you don’t have to press the trigger to strip the gun. As for safeties the P320 comes with a Striker Safety, Disconnect Safety, & 3-Point System Safety so the gun cannot fire without the trigger being pressed to the rear.

In terms of accuracy the P320 is clearly more accurate than I am but during a recent SDS Class we finished early and ran the students through the new FBI Q-course that I shot with them, getting a perfect score. To evaluate it a bit more I shot our CCW Q-course and again got a perfect score. I’m so impressed with the gun and will be adding it to my permit as soon as I am able.

Remember, failing to train is training to fail.
Liberty Firearms Training


Practice your Training

For those who are new to gun ownership and armed self-defense once you have engrained good Fundamentals it is often very difficult to find a place where you can practice. Public ranges do not allow drawing from a holster, moving to and shooting from cover, rapid fire and other techniques many have learned in training. A fundamental truth in the violent encounter is you will perform as you have trained and practiced.

To survive you need to move and shoot, fast and accurately because this is not the OK Corral and you are not Wyatt Earp.

While at the 2014 NSSF SHOT Show we spent a considerable amount of time looking for new tools to either enhance our training programs or new tools to help our students to continue to ingrain good, even life saving habits.

For home practice we found a couple of items that will allow you to draw and shoot, moving to cover and all the while have your shots timed and scored.

First we found a Laser “bullet” that will safely convert your gun to firing a burst of red laser light at a target. The device comes in a variety of set ups so it can fit almost any handgun and they make them for carbine rifles as well. Once installed correctly the gun clearly shows a red tip so you visually know your gun cannot fire a live round. I have about 500 hits through mine at this time and it is working flawlessly. If you wish to have effective practice check out Laser Ammos SureStrike L.A.S.R. Range.

LASR Practice

While at Laser Ammos booth we found another tool to use with the laser bullet to allow us the ability to define a target as well as record and time hits or misses. LASR

The L.A.S.R.: Laser Activated Shot Reporter allows you to set up real targets, define a hit zone and define differing courses of fire so your practice is timed and scored.

Here is a video from LASR,

So for a minor investment in the equivalent of 1,000 rounds of your favorite ammunition you can practice endlessly from the comfort of your home and on your own schedule.

Remember, failing to train is training to fail.
Liberty Firearms Training


Mastering Your Trigger

Different guns have different triggers, not all are the same and even in some manufacturers lines you will find different triggers. Semi-automatic triggers are different that revolver triggers. Mastering the trigger on any gun is really very simple but to commit it to sub-conscious memory requires multiple perfect repetitions.

First some definitions; Trigger reach is measured from the back strap to the face of the trigger once all play has been taken up. This is the measurement that will determine if your finger can reach the trigger face with a proper grip on the back strap. Trigger play or slack is the looseness in the trigger before it meets resistance as you move the trigger rearward, almost all semi-automatics have some. Trigger break is when the correct pounds of pressure have been applied and the firing mechanism has released and the trigger easily moves to the rear of the trigger guard. The trigger reset point is the place where after a shot has been fired, as you move your finger forward you will hear and feel and audible click which is where the firing mechanism has been re-engaged.

The firing sequence is fairly simple, after you have acquired your sight picture and are on the trigger begin to gently move the trigger rearward until you meet resistance. At this point you have removed any play in the trigger and are now preparing to apply the correct amount of pressure to the trigger face to cause the gun to discharge and move the trigger to the rear of the trigger guard. As you begin to apply pressure to the trigger face you must understand that there is a specific amount of pressure required to make the trigger break, if you apply more than is needed or you accelerate pressure that the gun will move just as the trigger breaks and you will miss what you are aiming at. I am going to step out on a limb here and give you an empirical fact; you do not miss what you are aiming at because of bad sight alignment or bad eyes or any of the other dozen excuses I’ve heard over the years as everyone I’ve ever worked with sights their gun just fine, you simply miss because you moved the gun right at the moment of firing. Where the gun was pointed at the time it fired is where the hole is on the target, it really is that simple.

Somewhere in the process of applying the correct amount of pressure to the trigger the gun will fire. Proper follow through indicates you should continue to the rear with the trigger and keep it pinned to the rear throughout the recoil of the gun. Once you have acquired your next sight picture you begin to release the trigger in a controlled manner until you hear/feel the trigger reset. Check your sight picture and repeat.

This method will help keep you from jerking the trigger and will increase your accuracy considerably as compared to flipping off the trigger. I have watched videos of accomplished shooters firing multiple rounds rapid fire and their finger never leaves the trigger and has minimal forward and rearward motion. Master your trigger, your shooting will improve.

Trigger reset with a Sig P239 and a Glock G23

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Concealed Carry Questions

I often ask students various questions when they are considering carrying or already carry. Often many had never considered the question.

How do you determine which gun is going to be reliable, after all you are betting your life that thing will work when you need it most?

We get a lot of funny answers from this and I suspect the reasoning is that most people never even considered the possibility of a gun failing since almost all failures happen at a public range rather than in a gunfight. We also get a lot of gun forum answers and Ole Guys Tales.

I do not have an empirical method to tell you who make reliable guns as there are no reliable records so for us I had to consider who I could trust for information. I know the gun makers are not going to tell you about their failures, not good business, same with the gun sellers. I know that anyone who can post on gun forums is generally not a good source since ANYONE can post of forums and call themselves gun experts. Listening to what my great uncle Joe believes from over 120 years ago is also not going to be a good source. Lastly there are firearms instructors but since there are no hurdles to entry instructors are much like the gun forum guys unless you can get one who teaches a 100 plus days a year and sees a lot of gun failures.

So from all of that I looked at who bets their lives on the guns performing and do not care one iota what those guns cost. That left me with more or less just two sources, US Special Operations and the FBI. From there I came away with just two manufacturers. This of course is what we carry.

How many rounds are you going to carry?

Again, blank looks on faces. It seems that most believe they will never have to reload yet in the interviews I’ve done with citizens who have been in gunfights, THEY ALL ran out of ammunition. I like many used to just carry the magazine in the gun until I had an exchange with a FB friend who had been a detective in the Bronx. He had his gun and two magazines, a revolver with five rounds and an ankle semi. While chasing some bad guys he got into the fight and ran out of ammunition before the cavalry arrived. From that frightening experience I now always carry at least two spare magazines.

So let’s say we have to draw and shoot. We will shoot very quickly, perhaps emptying our first magazine in less than two seconds. SO ask yourself this, how long does it take a large man to fall to the ground? We’ve timed it, about two seconds and as we who study these things know, most bad guys are not lone wolves and come with a pack of help, think about the woman shooter in Las Vegas who shot Joseph Wilcox as he walked by her.

How are you going to carry daily?

Again we get a lot of interesting answers, the one most often quoted is they are just going to keep the gun in the glove compartment not actually carry it on them. I get a chuckle out of that. In researching the use of guns in self-defense by citizens we find that they happen more often in public parking lots than at businesses or home, and that they seldom happen when you are in your car. Here’s an empirical statement, if you need your gun more often than not it will be in the transition zone when you are moving from one place to another in public. If your gun is in the car you might be out of luck. And as a side note on the car storage thing, the second most often location for guns being stolen . . . in your car.

Additionally we get people who say they are only going to carry when they feel the need, as if they can somehow predict the future. My standard response is, did you wear your seat belt while driving today?

Carrying is a change of lifestyle, it is a mindset that says you refuse to become a victim or let others around you be victimized. It is not intended to be comfortable but I will guarantee you it is comforting to know you are armed.

What size of gun are you going to carry?

We see a wide variety of sizes. Most younger, stronger and healthier people carry full size guns, the size and weight does not bother them. Most active people who WILL carry daily pick compact sizes like the Glock G19/23 or the Sigs P229/239. Most clueless people show up with a micro-TINY subcompact in .380 to take a 500 round class. As an interesting note on my interviews with the gun fighting citizens, ALL had tiny revolvers in .38 or subcompact .380’s, ALL ran out of ammunition before the gun fight was over, ALL the bad guys gave up psychologically and ran away not a single one dropping at the site of the fight from gunshot wounds and all of the citizens received gunshot injuries. They ALL today carry larger .40 S&W caliber guns with extra ammunition and they take training and practice regularly. I guess getting shot in a gunfight when you are out gunned makes a person reconsider their carry options.

I carry three different sizes of guns, my favorite EDC is a full size gun, if I can hide it, and it is the one I am packing daily. I have a dress size gun; sometimes I have to dress for business rather than the range and I need a THINNER gun so I carry a single stack gun that tucks and conceals more easily. Finally, I carry a tiny subcompact chambered in 9mm, which is my minimum caliber, it tucks in nicely for appendix carry when I am riding my motorcycle where all the rest are harder to conceal.

Think of how you dress, carry the biggest gun you possibly can, carry extra ammo and carry daily.

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The Tupperware Gun –

Due to an ongoing problem with my lower back I started about six years ago looking for different ways to carry other than my old favorite Sig P229. I had purchased a Glock G22 Gen 3 that I had been using in my Beginning Pistol classes but just was not that impressed with look or feel. I have to admit though it was one tough gun that takes a beating in my school and never complains about it’s lack of cleaning or lubrication.DSC00175

When the Gen 4’s came out in 2010 I decided to give the G23 a try, over the next two years I had put about 2,000 rounds through it and the gun function flawlessly. I liked the way the new grip felt, the redesigned recoil spring was very comfortable and again like all Glocks the thing NEVER malfunctions.

As part of this discovery process I had dropped my P229 from my from my CCW permit and replaced it with the P239. IMG_1455

Two years ago while lifting weights the dead lift really buggered the back so when it came time to renew my CCW I thought about the G23. Because reliability of my EDC is my first and foremost consideration when selecting a concealed gun I decided to give the G23 a burn out test, taking it to the range with 1,000 rounds and see which one of us quits first. I was pleasantly, although sore, surprised that running a dirty G23 through 1,000 rounds did not take as long as I thought it would AND the gun just got easier to shoot throughout the day. Not one malfunction of any kind so . . . weighed all of my favorite carry guns and voila, the G23 made the cut and is now my EDC.

As I was never thrilled with the factory sights I replaced the front sight with the TRUGLO BRITE•SITE™ TFO™  and the rear sight with the TRUGLO BRITE•SITE™ TRITIUM . Over time I started looking at the grip, while comfortable, I work outside in Sacramento in the heat with my EDC hand in and out of the holster much of each day and it gets warm and sweaty here so I just added the Brooks Tactical Agrip wrap to the gun and it is working perfectly. IMG_1454

My permit is up again this fall so I am once again evaluating guns and accessories. The Glock G23 is going to remain on the list but this time with the new Guardian trigger from Jeff Wilson at with some help from Ken Hackathorn . . . great trigger, all OEM, crisp clean break with little to no pre-travel.

For those who don’t know the story, here is a blog post from Cheaper Than Dirt about where the tupperware gun came from.

Glock History
By CTD Blogger published on February 3, 2011 in Glock, History

In 1963, Gaston Glock founded a plastics company near Vienna Austria. His moderately successful company primarily manufactured plastic curtain rod rings along with various other plastic products. Soon, Mr. Glock realized the strength and durability that could be realized by combining plastic and steel for particular military products and he began supplying the Austrian military with various tools and components. When two military Colonels were visiting in 1981 to oversee the manufacturing of plastic grenade components, Mr Glock overheard the military officials lamenting the fact that no one could manufacture military pistols that would meet their specifications.

Mr. Glock interjected, saying that he could produce the pistols. The military men laughed at him. But Gaston Glock is not someone who tolerates being laughed at. He immediately set to work in his basement designing a pistol that would not only meet but exceed the requirements of the Austrian military.

Glock 17
Glock had no experience building pistols before. If you ask him, that was an advantage. Despite Glock’s inexperience in manufacturing small arms, they were nevertheless invited to participate in the bidding process. Glock’s revolutionary design so impressed the military evaluators, that in 1983, the Austrian army ordered 25,000 Glock pistols.

In 1985, Glock established a factory in Smyrna, Georgia so that they could better serve the United States firearm market. The Glock 17 became enormously popular in the United States and was readily adopted by law enforcement agencies.

Around the same time, GLOCK developed their second model handgun, the G18 machinepistol. The G18 was based off of the G17, but had a selector switch on the back of the slide that allowed the firearm to fire in semi- or full-auto. Because of its small size and extremely high cyclic rate (1,200 RPM) the G18 was never widely used.

Glock’s popularity increased demands from consumers for a compact model that could be easily concealed. In 1988 Glock released the G19, a compact 9mm. Despite the smaller frame of the G19, it still had a 15 round capacity. It was around this time that Glock also built a plant in Hong Kong to meet demand from Southeast Asia, as well as a second factory in Austria.

Glock 21
Soon, Glock released their big bore models, the G20 and G21 in 10mm and .45 ACP, respectively. These large pistols gained a huge following from American consumers who valued them for their large caliber stopping power. When the FBI developed their .40 caliber round with Smith and Wesson, Glock answered in 1990 with the G22 and G23. The G22 was a full sized .40 caliber handgun, and the G23 was the compact model. Later that year a fourth Glock factory was opened in South America to better serve markets in Brazil and the rest of Latin America.

In 1995, Glock released their G25 handgun chambered in .380 Auto. The G25 was about the same size as the G19 but utilized a blowback design for increased reliability. Later, in 1996, the subcompact G26 in 9mm and the G27 in .40 S&W were both released due to increased demands from the American market where concealed carry led to the need for small easily concealable firearms. Glock released a .380 subcompact in 1997, the G28. That same year, Glock continued the development of their subcompact line with the release of the G29 10mm and G30 chambered in .45 ACP. This helped further appease the US market where demands for big bore subcompact handguns had been growing.

Glock has not been without some mystery and controversy throughout the history of the company. On July 27th, 1999, Gaston Glock was brutally attacked by a hitman, contracted by Glock’s onetime business consultant Charles Ewert. Glock fought back, powered by his indomitable will and years of exercise, overpowering the would be assassin and knocking him unconcsious.

Gaston Glock immediately suspected who his betrayer was, and while being treated at the hospital contacted his bankers and immediately started transferring tens of millions of dollars out of the reach of Ewert. Glock succeeded in safeguarding $40 million in this fashion before Ewert could block the transfer of another $30 million. Ewert was eventually convited of attempted murder, along with his hired gun Pêcheur.

To say that Ewert’s betrayal was an enormous hit to Glock would be an understatement. Glock, already known as an untrusting and secretive man, became even more paranoid according to some insiders. Ewert had been Glock’s right hand man for over 15 years, helping to propel Glock from a small military arms manufacturer in Austria to becoming one of the largest suppliers of side arms for law enforcement agencies throughout the world.

Further investigations both in Austria and the United States resulted in fraud and embezzlement charges being brought against Ewert. Allegations state that Ewert funneled more than $100 million to himself and attempted to fraudulently take over Unipatent, Glock’s holding company. For himself, Gaston Glock has continued to oversee the meteoric growth of his company.

When the Glock pistols were initially released, they rumors ran rampant about the guns, including one rumor they could pass undetected through airport metal detectors. These rumors proved totally fictional.

While the Glock Safe Action Pistol consists of over a pound of steel, the “Combat Tupperware” nickname comes from the almost completely made of polymer frame.

The Glock Model 17 was adopted into service with the Austrian police and military forces in 1982 as the P80 and has since captured the world’s and the United State’s attention as the premier duty sidearm.

The Glock has had many evolutionary changes over the past 28 years, with the major model changes identified as “Generations”. Glock is currently releasing its fourth generation pistols all along its model line.

1st Generation
The 1st Generation Glock, as it came to be known, was introduced to the US market in 1984. The Glock pistols continued their rise in status and production with very few changes.

Glock 17 1st gen

Glock did switch to a captive recoil spring fairly early in the pistols life and at one point the serial number became stamped on imbedded steel plates in the pistol’s dustcover.

2nd Generation
In 1988 Glock added checkering on the front and back straps on all its models. In 1990, the locking block was enlarged and an additional cross pin was added on the non 9mm caliber models.

Glock 2nd Gen

3rd Generation
In 1998 Glock changed the frame substantially. An accessory rail was added, officially known as the “Universal Glock Rail”. Thumb rests and finger grooves were added, the extractor was changed to also function as a loaded chamber indicator and the OD color was added to the lineup.

Glock 21 3rd Gen

In 2002 all 17, 19 and 34 models started using the larger locking block and additional cross pin to simplify production.

Glock 22 RTF2

In 2009 at SHOT Glock introduced the Model 22 RTF2 with a pyramid grip texture and scalloped slide serrations. It is still considered a 3rd generation gun. Glock produced the RTF2 in models 17, 19, 22, 23 and 23C. Around mid-2010 Glock dropped the crescent shaped slide serrations and started using the standard slide serrations on the RTF2 models. As of January 2011 the RTF2 Model Glocks were available only to Law Enforcement.

4th Generation
In January 2010 Glock debuted the latest and greatest version of the Glock Safe Action Pistol. The big changes are a smaller grip circumference with add on backstraps, a captive dual spring recoil assembly, a truncated pyramid grip texture and a larger, reversible magazine release.

Glock 17 gen 4

These changes are accompanied by smaller changes in the barrel, slide, trigger bar, trigger housing, the deletion of cutout on the front of the grip for magazine removal, and the additional notch on the magazines for left-handed magazine release.

Glock continues to maintain their presence as one of the world’s handgun manufacturers with their continuing innovation and cutting edge technology. Though often imitated and copied, Glock continues to outperform and remains one of the most popular brands of handguns today.

Liberty Firearms Training


The Use of Deadly Force in Self-Defense

When you carry a gun you are in fact carrying a tool that is lethal if used, same as if you used a car, knife, baseball bat or rock. All can be lethal. Interestingly even though most items we use daily are not required to be permitted to carry one with us such as our car or a knife yet for some reason states require permits to carry a gun. My guess is that it is perceived to stop or reduce crime however I believe the records clearly show that laws only keep the law abiding from breaking them. Criminals by their very nature commit crimes.

There is a wide disparity of gun laws throughout America today, somewhere in excess of 27,000 yet it appears to not have stopped the criminals.

Many states are referred to as gun friendly or anti-gun. I live in a state that is considered by many to be the most anti-gun in the country, yet I carry a gun daily as do more and more people here do every day.

I teach Concealed Carry and in that class we spend a fair amount of time on the use of deadly force in self-defense. Because I’m in CA I often wondered what other states have as their self-defense laws. Upon looking through the penal codes of 34 different states what I found is the law concerning the use of deadly force in self-defense is almost uniform throughout America regardless of their pro or anti gun stances.

In CA the legal defense of self-defense in California law means that you can’t be found guilty of a violent crime that you committed in order to protect yourself, as long as your conduct was reasonable under the circumstances.

For purposes of the self-defense legal defense, “reasonable under the circumstances” means that you need to have:

  1. Reasonably believed that you were in imminent danger of being killed, injured, or touched unlawfully,
  2. Reasonably believed that you needed to use force to prevent that from happening, and
  3. Used no more force than was necessary to prevent that from happening.

Pretty simple really, if the person attacking you or another has the ability to cause you grave bodily injury AND has the opportunity to employ that ability AND has shown the intent to do so you may use whatever force is available to you to stop that threat. That force is not restricted to your carry gun; you could use your rifle, truck, knife, fish billy . . . whatever tool you have that would stop the threat.

Okay so that is the most anti-gun in the nation’s self-defense laws. What about one of the most pro-gun states in the country, Arizona.

13-405. Justification; use of deadly physical force

  1. A person is justified in threatening or using deadly physical force against another:
  2. If such person would be justified in threatening or using physical force against the other under section 13-404, and
  3. When and to the degree a reasonable person would believe that deadly physical force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful deadly physical force.
  4. A person has no duty to retreat before threatening or using deadly physical force pursuant to this section if the person is in a place where the person may legally be and is not engaged in an unlawful act.

Again pretty cut and dried, amazingly similar to the gun hating state of California. Notice also there is NO mention anywhere of what force can be used.

Well we all know Michigan has very strict carry laws so obviously there would be no right of self-defense . . . wrong.

780.972 Use of deadly force by individual not engaged in commission of crime; conditions.
Sec. 2.

(1) An individual who has not or is not engaged in the commission of a crime at the time he or she uses deadly force may use deadly force against another individual anywhere he or she has the legal right to be with no duty to retreat if either of the following applies:

(a) The individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent death of or imminent great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another individual.

(b) The individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent sexual assault of himself or herself or of another individual.

(2) An individual who has not or is not engaged in the commission of a crime at the time he or she uses force other than deadly force may use force other than deadly force against another individual anywhere he or she has the legal right to be with no duty to retreat if he or she honestly and reasonably believes that the use of that force is necessary to defend himself or herself or another individual from the imminent unlawful use of force by another individual.

Oh my, that looks almost exactly like California law. Well there has to be at least one anti-gun state that won’t let you shoot someone who is attempting to kill you . . . let’s see, hmmm how about New York, it has to be the worst state.

1. A person may, subject to the provisions of subdivision two, use physical force upon another person when and to the extent he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to defend himself, herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by such other person, unless: (a) The latter’s conduct was provoked by the actor with intent to cause physical injury to another person; or (b) The actor was the initial aggressor; except that in such case the use of physical force is nevertheless justifiable if the actor has withdrawn from the encounter and effectively communicated such withdrawal to such other person but the latter persists in continuing the incident by the use or threatened imminent use of unlawful physical force; or (c) The physical force involved is the product of a combat by agreement not specifically authorized by law.

Well, I cannot seem to find a single state that will not let you defend yourself, so much for differences in the law. Please note though it is practically impossible to legally carry in many places. Carrying does nothing more than place on your person a tool that could be very effective in stopping a bad person from harming you or others. You can use your car, your knife or your baseball bat or golf club. In certain areas of Sacramento I see older men walking their dogs or their wives while carrying a golf club and I can guarantee it is not so they can stop by the driving range on the way home.

Some things to remember, if you can get away and don’t, regardless of the law people will ask why you shot when you could have safely escaped. I do not know of a single state that requires you to retreat but I believe if you can and do not, you have a good chance of being prosecuted because if you can escape the threat is not imminent.

Additionally, it is important to understand that the majority of cases where self-defense is proclaimed often you are looking at two bad players, perhaps doing a drug deal and one of them pulled out a gun to rob the other. Honest citizens seldom if ever have to go to court as Zimmerman did and had there not been meddling in that case he would have never gone to court.

Any tool will do to stop a deadly threat.

Be calm . . . and Carry, all the time.

Liberty Firearms Training


What is the perfect gun for your EDC?

What is your first decision factor in choosing a Concealed Handgun?

What is your first consideration when selecting a concealed carry handgun?
Action type
Trigger Reach

Poll Maker

Liberty Firearms Training


I Need To Practice

There are many moving parts involved when you carry a gun and guess what; they all need to be practiced to some degree so you have them committed to your sub-conscious memory. We all love to shoot, fast and furious . . . pop, pop, pop. But carrying a gun encompasses so much more than rapid fire and that is where the rubber fails to meet the road.

Moving Off the Line

Throughout the year I have students coming back to renew their CCW and I always get excited because I have not seen them in two years and I’m really looking forward to teaching them something new that could potentially save their life. Unfortunately far too often many have not fired their gun in two years. I don’t always call BS on them because I like these people but let’s get real, I’m a full time instructor and it is very easy to see who is practiced and who is clueless. Keep telling me some story about how often you’ve practiced the last two years and at some point I’m gonna call BS.

At LFT we provide an High Level training experience, you have the instructors full attention and he is making certain you get it and that you are stretched in your ability. When you finish with your class you have been inundated with the various pieces you as a civilian would need to use to save your life or another’s should you get caught flat footed by an armed assailant. What comes next is up to you.

What did I learn? Well I learned how to avoid a violent confrontation and for the most part I already practice in real life good situational awareness. I learned how to get my gun out quickly from concealment and engage quickly and effectively an armed assailant. I learned how to use cover effectively. I learned how to place accurate rounds on the threat while moving away and creating distance from the assailant. I learned how to place accurate rounds fast and furious in a reactive manner. NOW all I need to do is commit all of these things to my subconscious memory so if I need them it will just happen BUT I do not have a place to shoot like I was trained.

In practice there is the Fundamentals of Marksmanship that must be practiced regularly in order to keep those skills in memory. Those are a reasonably stable stance, a solid grip on the gun, perfect trigger control, accurate sight picture and consistent follow through. This requires going to a range, any range and putting rounds down range effectively regardless of distance because all I am really doing is programming my mind to work the trigger correctly regardless of what else is going on around me. This is the fun part of puzzle, I get to go BANG! But I must keep in mind that if I practice crap like jumping off the trigger, failing to do a correct reset and finding my follow up sight picture all I am accomplishing is crap, essentially becoming a crap master.


So how do I practice all of these other pieces? I do them at home. Obviously we do not practice with live ammunition at home equally we do not practice from a concealed holster at the range.

We have to be able to access and get the gun out fast and what better place than in front of mirror to see if we can beat the guy in the mirror.

What about moving away from the target while drawing and firing? This can be done equally at home with an empty gun. We use the the LASR software and the Laser Ammo, just slightly more in cost than a 1,000 rounds of handgun ammunition AND we can do it on our own schedule. If you carry a DAO there are triggers available that easily slide into your Glock that will allow you to rapid fire without needing to cycle the slide.

In essence, there is no reason you cannot maintain your skill set regardless of which range you have available. If you want it, you can get it done.

Liberty Firearms Training


Revisiting the Myth: Stopping Power

This post is going to address this common thread from the perspective that if you have to use your gun that your adversary is not going to be frightened, will not run away in fear and has every intention of killing you regardless of how many times he has been shot.

A student sent me an email a few days ago with yet another “study” on the stopping power of various cartridges. The writer’s perspective was to collect data over a period of years and then analyze to see if there was conclusive evidence. The writer’s data went from .22LR to “rifle” and shotgun. The shortcomings of the study were not enough data for certain cartridges to be able to draw a statistically supported conclusion yet he kept those data points in his observations. The summation of the article, any cartridge will stop someone from trying to kill you. I am certain the author has some credentials as he is a LEO and an instructor for many years however I am willing to bet he does not carry a .22LR on his duty belt. My guess would be he has a 9mm or a .40 S&W AND am surprised why he would not recommend one of those in the article.

The major shortcoming I had with this study as well as with all studies is none actually determined if the cartridge actually stopped the bad guy physiologically. None really addressed the issue of the determined adversary who will not be deterred psychologically, the type of adversary you are going to have to shoot a lot until they can no longer physically carry on the attack.

Some of you may remember the infamous Miami Massacre where essentially one bad guy Michael Platt fought for over 4.5 minutes with 8 FBI Agents before ceasing to be able to fight. That is your determined adversary who will only be defeated physiologically. How many .22LRs do you think it would take to stop this type of adversary? Before you say one, keep in mind he is laying down deadly 5.56mm fire from a rifle at you.

My concept is simply this; I carry a gun because I know there are evil people out there and I refuse to be a victim. I am intelligent enough to know the statistics. The odds of ever having to use the gun are slim to none (although I have had to draw once), the odds of ever having to actually shoot are even less. The chance of ever running into a bad guy who can only be stopped physiologically is astronomical BUT the bottom line is if you run into that person you are going to need as much power in your gun as you can possibly carry because he is simply going to laugh at your .22LR/.32/.380ACP and proceed to rip your head off regardless of how many times you hit him with the little pea shooter.

So let’s talk about how you stop the determined bad guy with a bullet. We hopefully all recognize that there are but two ways to get them to stop, either you get a good central nervous system hit (CNS) or you cause enough blood loss that they lose consciousness. I hope everyone understands that in the gunfight hitting the CNS normally only happens by chance, not intentionally so if you are going to have to shoot you are going to have to make them bleed.

The best way to make them bleed is to put LARGE diameter holes through the various arteries, organs and veins that move blood from the heart to the brain and other muscles. The larger diameter the hole the more rapid the blood loss and the less likely bleeding will not slow. Assuming your JHP works as advertised it will be approximately twice its normal diameter after penetrating the target. 9mm will be approximately .70”, .40’s about .80”. Let’s say you’ve been well trained and have been practicing regularly and you get two rounds through the bad guys’ aorta, how long do you think he can keep up his attack before he loses oxygen to the brain? Based on which Doctor you ask, the bad guy can keep going anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes before they cease functioning. Now how much damage can this person do to you in a minute? To put this in perspective this video shows a bad guy shot in the heart who continued his attack, fled the scene and was able to drive a half mile and park the car before succumbing to his wound.

Putting all of this into perspective, many have heard of war stories where the enemy combatant was shot with the .50 BMG and literally exploded, and we know that most in combat would prefer the power of the 7.62 NATO round over the 5.56 NATO round, the simple reason being when you should the enemy with the 7.62 they go down and often it takes several 5.56 to accomplish the same thing. In making comparisons between these two rifle rounds and several pistol cartridges one consistent item keeps popping up, muzzle energy is a major factor in the round making significant injury on the bad guy.

Cartridge Pressures and Energy
Cartridge Chamber pressure

Practice Ammo Muzzle Energy

Velocity fps

Defensive Ammo Muzzle Energy

Velocity fps

7.62×51 (aka .308)        62,000





5.56×45 (aka .223)        55,000





.44 Mag        36,000





.40 S&W        35,000





.357 Mag        35,000





9 mm        35,000





.45 ACP        21,000





.38 Spl        17,000





.380 ACP        21,500





.22LR        24,000





The higher up the chart, the greater the chance your shot will stop the bad guy quickly. Keep in mind when reading other articles on stopping power that mention how quickly a certain bullet stops the bad guy that one shot from any caliber could cause the psychological defeat of said bad guy.

Over the last few months I have been interviewing citizens who have been in gunfights. My idea was to look for commonalities so I could share these with students in the hopes of helping them survive if they were to ever have to shoot. A few common threads have popped up, all of the interviewees carried .380 ACP or .38 Specials. Today ALL of them say they carry a large caliber handgun as these two calibers are not acceptable to them knowing what they know today.

And lastly for those who would suggest you carry a gun that you can shoot accurately I would concur. Additionally if the only gun you can shoot accurately is a .22LR you should stop immediately and find a quality instructor to teach you how to shoot because you do not currently know how. Any person can shoot accurately and fast a 9mm, .357 Mag or .40 S&W, with quality training and consistent practice.

From the pure statistics of the use of a handgun in self-defense we know that statistically you will never have to draw your gun. We also know that between 92% and 98% of time a citizen draws their gun the bad guy runs away. If you walk around thinking that the moment you pull the gun out the bad guy runs screaming in fear down the street, you may be right but if you are wrong, if you come across someone who will not run away in fear you will be wrong and dead. The gun is not a magic talisman, not everyone will run in fear. Carry a gun that will apply significant force, only after you have received professional training and are well practiced. Remember one day you may actually have to use it.