“Where can I get the quickest, cheapest class?”

Yes, you read that right. Here are a few of the questions I’ve seen posted on social media sites in just the past week:

  • “My mom wants to get her CCW permit for Christmas. Who offers the lowest priced course?”
  • “Can anyone tell me more about the online Virginia CCW course? I like the idea of being able to just pass an online test and get a non-resident permit, and it looks like I can get it real cheap.”
  • “Where can I get a fast, cheap CCW class in the St. Louis area?”
  • “Who has the best price on a concealed carry permit class?”

I think you get the idea. You could probably look through gun forums and gun pages on social media sites and find hundreds of similar questions from just the last couple weeks alone. Continue reading

Is “blended learning” really the “future” of firearms training?

I recently read a blog post where the author opined that “blended learning” is the “future” of firearms training. As someone who has provided countless hours of in-person firearms training to a few thousand students, and who has also taken part in “blended learning” formatted instruction, this line of thought bothers me a bit. Continue reading

The Greatest Gift… Almost

Kimber Meme

Every year as we near the Christmas season, I see memes such as the one posted above all over Facebook.  Honestly, I would love it if someone bought me a new gun for Christmas and, admittedly, I get the slightest twinge of jealousy as I see my friends posing with their new “toys” in front of the Christmas tree.

But does giving someone a gun really tell them how much you care?

Continue reading

AAR – Martial Arms Tactical Vehicle Gun Fighting Skills

Date: 9/26/2015
Instructor: Steve Collins

Some have asked why I would spend my time taking a course like this a second time.  The answer is simple; there’s no way to adequately remember the lessons learned in such a course by going through only once.  Too much time passes from the beginning of the course to the end of the day and there isn’t sufficient time to take notes even if note taking were more practical on an outdoor range.

Continue reading

A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action

Tactical Ted is my favorite hypothetical person.  Despite his complete and utter lack of any formal training, he considers himself to be an “operator” and, unlike me, he knows every answer to every question in the defensive shooting world.  Sometimes Ted shoots only occasionally and sometimes he shoots every week.  Sometimes he shoots competitively and sometimes just for fun.  In spite of all of his shooting experience (or lack thereof), Ted is all knowing.

Continue reading

Are You Training or Practicing?

The words we use to describe a particular activity are important.  If we use the wrong terms it can lead to a gross misunderstanding by others of what we hope to convey.  This is especially true in the use of text since there is no variance or inflection of voice to help get the point across.

With that in mind, I have noticed many people in the “gun world” using the wrong words to describe all sorts of things.  One pair of such misused terms is training vs. practicing. Continue reading

AAR – Suarez International: CRG-4 – Force on Force Gunfighting

Course Title: CRG-4 – Force of Force Gunfighting
Organization: Suarez International
Instructor: Steve Collins
Dates: August 29th & 30th, 2015

Having taken (and taught) many defensive shooting courses over the last several years, I have a level of skill with a defensive handgun that is generally superior to that of the average person that has taken nothing beyond their state mandated concealed carry course and has spent no practice time since then.  I don’t mean that to sound boastful or arrogant but it is difficult for one to achieve a higher level without putting in additional effort.

That said, I am pleased to discover that this course challenged me in many ways.  It was able to confirm many of the beliefs I have had for quite some time and it also answered some of the questions I have had about real world defensive situations. Continue reading

AAR – Suarez International: HITS-8 – Defensive Knife

Organization: Suarez International
Course Title: HITS-8 – Defensive Knife
Instructor: Steve Collins
Date: August 28th, 2015

I decided nearly twelve years ago that I would carry a gun to defend my own life or the life of another person if necessary.  That said, I typically do carry a knife as well but have never considered it to be of much use to me as a defensive weapon.  I had absolutely zero knowledge on the defensive use of a knife and had always viewed the knife as a last ditch weapon if other, more familiar, options failed to be effective. Continue reading

Your Most Effective Weapon

If I asked you what your most effective weapon in a dynamic lethal force encounter would be, what would your answer be?

Would it be pepper spray…
A Taser…
A knife…
A gun…

I have often heard people that practice martial arts and other fighting techniques claim that if you can’t win a fight without a gun, you won’t be able to win it with a gun.  Most of them use this claim due to their desire to get more people involved in hand to hand self-defense techniques. Continue reading