Edition 46

Hope this finds you and yours well.

Car decals are in!  If you want one (or more), send an e-mail to with “DECAL” in the subject line.  Up to two are free;  $1 each after that.

Let me know how many you want and we’ll get them out via USPS ASAP.

Please forward to anyone you know that might be interested.


Train hard; put God first!




Okay, I’m now a UTAH CWP instructor.  I’ll be sending out a schedule for the UTAH classes very shortly in another newsletter.  The classes will be 4+ hours in length and cost $100 ($75 for Paladin alums).

Class Enrollments

  • 28 – 29 SEP BDH:  50%
  • 12 – 13 OCT BCO:  50%
  • 26 – 26 OCT CWP:  25%
  • 23 – 24 NOV BDC:  50%
  • 28 – 30 DEC UBC:  50%

If  you’re interested in attending one of the three carbine courses in the last quarter, get your 50% deposit in ASAP.  If that creates a problem at this time, call me at 843-618-1381 and we’ll see what we can do to help get you in the class.

Book Recommendation: The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Ed.

By Andrew Branca

If you’re interested in staying out of jail after an incident, I think you should read this book.  I hadn’t finished the introduction before I learned something that could be critical to winning the legal aftermath component of The Fight, something obvious but overlooked by me.     

The book is full of useful information and goes into much greater depth on the subject than we have time for in a CWP class.

Also very useful are the links and blog at  Check them out.   Details on purchasing the book are here as well.

Newsletter Recommendation

For straight talk on tactics, training and more, I strongly encourage you to check out Paul Howe’s website:

Paul publishes a monthly newsletter that I always find worth the time.  He pulls no punches and spares no one he finds guilty of stupidity… or worse.  While I hardly ever finish a newsletter with a warm fuzzy feeling about the future, I always finish with a hardened resolve.  That’s a good thing.


Springfield Armory has issued a recall notice for it’s 3.3″ barreled XDS in both 9 x 19 and .45 ACP.  Details here:

Caracal has issued a recall for all it’s Model C pistols.  Evidently the pistol has a design flaw that’s not correctable.  Send them your gun and they’ll send you money.

I warn people all the time about staying away from new and unproven platforms.  This is one reason why.  Details here:

Edition 45

I hope this finds you and your team well and continuing to prepare.

Edition 44 had a couple of errors in the training schedule, so please check out Rev 1 to your left. A big thank you to those who e-mailed or called to point out the problems.

Note: HAC has been rescheduled to Sunday 18 AUG. The class is about half full now. If you want to attend, get your $50 deposit in soon. If I don’t have a deposit from you, I’m assuming you’re not coming. I know the administrative stuff is boring, but please read the section below on deposits and cancellations.

The next scheduled public CWP class is 6 & 7 SEP. We still have a few openings.

SLED has made an important change in the renewal process. From

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is experiencing a tremendous influx of concealed weapon permit applications, both new and renewal. The applications are processed in the order in which they are received, starting from the date SLED actually receives the application. Processing is taking the full ninety days on both new and renewals. Please know that we are processing all applications as quickly as possible, while maintaining the quality of backgrounds required by law. Your patience is greatly appreciated during this time.

*Below is a temporary change in the concealed weapons permit law enacted during the 2013 legislative session. Temporary provisos are enacted in the State budget and are only effective for the State fiscal year (July 1 – June 30); unless re-enacted they expire on June 30, 2014.

62.22. (CWP Renewal and Replacement) A concealed weapons permit may not be suspended by a state official, agent, or employee supported by state funds if the permit holder has initiated a renewal or replacement application and the processing and issuance of a renewal or replacement permit is delayed for administrative reasons. A concealed weapons permit remains valid during the pendency of the renewal or replacement process so long as the application for replacement renewal is submitted prior to the expiration of the permit.

My advice is to make a copy of the renewal application confirmation page (online renewals) and keep that with you, just in case they don’t get your new permit to you before the old one expires.

This might be a good time to check your SC CWP for the expiration date.

Please forward to anyone you know that might be interested.

Train hard; put God first!

Defensive Firearm Classes Filling Quickly

Enrollment is approaching the halfway mark in both the September BDH and December’s UBC . If you’re interested in either, get your 50% deposit in ASAP. Contact me if you have any questions.

Utah Still Pending

Yesterday I received my Utah Non-Resident CWP in the mail. With that in hand, I can now send in my instructor application. I expect it will be another 60 days before I’m certified to teach the Utah CWP class. If you can’t wait, I certainly understand. Give me a call if you’d like to be referred to an area instructor.

Welder Needed

Several of our steel targets are in need of repair. If you’re willing to help by providing your welding skills, please give me a call: 843-618-1381
Thank you!

New Class & Date: Handgun Accuracy Clinic

  • Class: HAC
  • Date: Sunday, 18 AUG 2013
  • Times: 9 am – 6 pm
  • Location: Lake Darpo, Society Hill, SC
  • Cost: $100
  • Round Count: 250

I’ve never been satisfied with the amount of time available to us in either the CWP or BDH class to devote to marksmanship. I think we do a good job balancing the various elements of marksmanship, mindset and gunhandling — the ‘Combat Triad’ — in our training, but pure marksmanship suffers in the effort.

‘Balance’… what a beautiful word. I prefer to think of balance in this context as completely unrelated to ‘compromise’, which is an ugly word. The performance goal in combat shooting is to strike the proper balance between the two competing needs of accuracy and speed. If you’ve attended a CWP or BDH class with us you may remember this phrase associated with how well you have to exercise the fundamentals: Just Good Enough.

All well and good, but it doesn’t do much to help you achieve your full potential as a shooter. I’m firmly convinced that the correct path to that goal is to first learn to shoot well, and later, only after you have a firm, technical grasp of the fundamentals, learn to shoot fast.

HAC is about technique. Two fundamentals will get a lot of attention: Follow through and trigger control. In particular, we’ll endeavor to get past the basic technique of a ‘surprise break’ and begin to work on firing one accurate shot on demand. Years ago I attended an LE sniper class that featured Carlos Hathcock as a lecturer. At one point he was asked whether or not he tried to achieve a surprise break on the trigger. Carlos chuckled and said, ‘No, I don’t go for that. If I did, I wouldn’t be here now. That gun is MY gun and I make it go off when I want it to.’

We’ll also work on follow through. Remember, you have no way of knowing how many shots it will take to solve your problem. Consequently, we should incorporate follow through into every shot. A shot isn’t complete until the sights are re-aligned on the target and the trigger prepped for the shot that may be necessary. If you’ve taken a class from us, you’ve heard that also.

No matter how many shots your problem requires, X number of accurate shots is really only one accurate shot repeated X number of times.

So, the goal of HAC is very simple: To help you develop the mental and physical skills necessary to shoot one accurate shot on demand.

Come experience HAC. It will be mentally and physically challenging, but you’ll be a better shooter on the other side. If you’re not, I’ll give you your money back.

Edition 44

I hope this finds you and your team well and continuing to prepare.

Lots of news in this edition.

Please check out the training schedule for the remainder of 2013 to the left. Due to the heat, we have only one outdoor class, a CWP, scheduled for July. I’m not planning to do a CWP in August.

Watch for details on a NEW one day class in August below.

There’s a BDH scheduled for the last weekend in September. Note that it’s a SAT/SUN class, as are the rest of the two-day defensive firearm classes this year. Next year the plan is to go back to the FRI/SAT format for at least the first half of 2014.

If you’re interested in taking the BDH class in September, there are two things you should start doing immediately:
1. Purchase ammunition
2. Exercise. Strengthen your hands and forearms particularly. The usual warnings about checking w/ your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen apply.

I know #2 seems odd in a low intensity basic class, but grip strength is one of the most important, and overlooked, factors in the ability to shoot a major caliber handgun well. ‘Well’ as in quickly and accurately.

Make note of the three carbine classes in the last quarter. Remember BCO is now a prerequisite for BDC as BDC is for UBC. BCO is where you learn to operate the carbine and get hits with it; BDC is where you learn to fight with it. Start gathering ammunition now if you’d like to attend one or more of these classes. We’re focusing more on the carbine as concern over the future stability of the country intensifies.

In response to many requests, we’ve scheduled a one day Basic Defensive Shotgun class in October.

UBC the last weekend in December!!!

Please forward to anyone you know that might be interested.

Train hard; put God first!

Logo Wear is Here!

I’ve got a good selection of caps and t-shirts in. The caps are low profile twill in OD w/ the subdued (black) logo and ‘UTRINQUE PARATUS’ (Ready for anything) on the back.

Short sleeve T’s are available in either OD or khaki, both w/ subdued logos, sizes M, L and XL.

New is a dark grey long-sleeve T with ‘PALADIN’ and the logo on the right sleeve. Sizes L and XL. Long sleeves can be handy, even (especially!) in summertime in a carbine class. Doesn’t take but a second for someone’s 5.56 brass to rest against your bare skin and you’ve got a blister. We see a lot of it in the BCO due to all the prone work at the 100 yard line.

  • Cap: $15
  • Short sleeve T: $15
  • Long sleeve T: $20

I’ll take orders for anything not in stock. Delivery time about a week.

Working on quotes for the decals now and hope to have that order placed before the end of next week.

  Comments: 1



I received an e-mail today from Palmetto Gun Rights detailing some disturbing developments in the House with S.308:

According to the e-mail, Rep. Mike Pitts (R – Dist. 14) has added the following amendments to S.308:

1.  50% increase in the CWP fee paid to SLED
2.  Increased the penalty for carrying into a posted location from

not more than two hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than thirty days”

not less than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both, at the discretion of the court and have his permit revoked for five years”.

Both amendments were voted on and added to S.308 last night (Tuesday).

I don’t have a tremendous problem with #1, but I fail to see the necessity for #2.  This is a pretty harsh penalty for something that’s not an issue.

We’ve got today and tomorrow to get S.308 passed or we wait until the next session. 

Please contact your representative immediately and politely request he or she support reconsideration of the Pitts’ amendments with a roll call vote and then vote for S.308 w/o amendment.

Pitts has put us between a rock and a hard place:  Either we remain quiet and allow the amendments to stand and S.308 passes (maybe), or we fight the amendments, stirring up the water to the point S.308 doesn’t make it this session.  No guarantees either way.

If you’d like to give Rep. Pitts your input:
Office:  803-734-2830
Mobile:  864-923-2925
Work:  864-681-0238
Home:  864-575-2917

Be polite and professional and all the rest.

Whoever coined the phrase “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” wasn’t kidding.

Here’s another, from Gideon J. Tucker (and made famous by Mark Twain):
“No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session”.

CWP class this weekend and Basic Carbine Operator next weekend.  Room in both.

Stay sharp!



Utrinque Paratus

Legislative Alert: Restaurant Carry


I received the following from the NRA-ILA yesterday.  I don’t usually pass on legislative stuff from the various Pro-Bill of Rights organizations, but this is so important I’ve decided to make an exception:  S.308 is now being heard before the full House.

Links to the language of the bill and legislator contact information are embedded in the body below.

This is the closest we’ve ever come  to defeating the prohibition against carry in restaurants, etc.  This is the final push.  If you believe you have the right to defend yourself and your family in a restaurant, please contact your representative and ask him to vote for S.308.


South Carolina: Self-Defense Bill Passes House Committee, Goes to House Floor for Vote  

Contact your state Representative in support of Senate Bill 308


Yesterday, a critical self-defense bill, Senate Bill 308, passed in the House Judiciary Committee. S. 308, introduced by state Senator Sean Bennett (R-38), would remove the prohibition on a Concealed Weapon Permit (CWP) holder carrying a concealed firearm into a restaurant licensed to serve alcohol. Under S. 308, a CWP holder would still be prohibited from consuming alcohol while in the restaurant if he or she is carrying a concealed firearm for personal protection.

S. 308 is now eligible for consideration on the House floor. With only a couple of weeks left in the 2013 legislative session, it is critical you contact your state Representative NOW and urge him or her to take up this important restaurant carry bill. Click here for help identifying your state Representative.
Any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Stay sharp!



Utrinque Paratus

Edition 43


I hope this finds you and your team well.

After yesterday’s terrible news from London, I believe it’s a good time to remind everyone that all our classes are free to all active duty military (any branch including Coast Guard) and full-time SCARNG / SCANG.  If you know someone who qualifies, please pass this newsletter on to them.

We have room in both the 7 – 8 JUNE CWP class and the Basic Carbine Operator class on 14 – 15 JUNE.

Heads up:  Because of the heat, I’m seriously considering taking the month of August off from CWP and defensive firearm classes.  I’ll keep you posted, but don’t delay taking that class from us if you can help it.  Also, don’t forget we go to a Sat / Sun schedule for defensive firearm classes next quarter.

Exception:  IF I get my UTAH CWP instructor certification by then, I’ll schedule one for August since it’s all classroom and involves no range time.

Please forward to anyone you know that might be interested.

Train hard, put God first!




I was doing some skills maintenance work with another trainer last week and he caught me making a fairly common mistake during my after action assessment:  When I’d scan the area behind me, I was moving my head and eyes but I wasn’t really ‘seeing’.  I was just going through the motions.  We catch students doing that all the time.


A proper scan involves many sub-tasks dealing with weapon handling, how we move, when we perform reloads and what kind, etc.  Here, I want to focus (no pun intended) mainly on some of the visual issues of an after action assessment.


So, you’ve just won a fight to your front.  Either the Threat has changed his mind because you won the psychological fight or you’ve had to convince him by shooting him.  He’s down and no longer presents a threat or he’s running away.  What do you do now?


First, remember the Plus One Rule:  If you see one BG, assume there are two; if you see two BG’s, assume there are three; etc., etc.


You’re very probably experiencing tunnel vision so your peripheral vision will be greatly reduced.  I hate to categorically say ‘you absolutely will experience’ ANY of the common physiological responses to stress, but here I’m tempted.  Leaving stress completely out of the equation, the act of focusing on the sights is alone enough to cause some perceptual narrowing.


Tunnel vision is so common and so dangerous we put duct tape on the outer third of each lens of your shooting glasses to force you to deal with the effect during training.  Students are universally bothered by the tape when they’re not on the firing line.  But, not one student has reported being aware of the tape DURING a drill.


Tunnel vision is sometimes called ‘perceptual narrowing’ which does a better job of describing the problem.   And it doesn’t take stress to cause it.  A hard visual focus on something can cause tunnel vision.


If you’re in a stressful or dangerous situation, keep your head on a swivel.  Like a fighter pilot.


So, you’re moving your head.  Good.  Now slow down and actually see.  Don’t move your eyes faster than they can process what they’re sweeping over.  I can’t stress enough how important this is.  One of the tricks we use in defensive firearm classes to train the student to slow down and process is to have other students behind the firing line hold index cards with various words, numbers or shapes printed on them.   Not up, but down where hands are normally held.  The student on the line then has to call out what he sees in the hands of the students at his 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions as he makes his scan.  He should not perform any non-emergency reload until he’s completed the scan and can say for certain there are no other fights imminent.

What door?

Several years ago I was moving through a shoot house at a tactical seminar and confronted with two danger areas:  An open window to my right and a hallway to my left.  I was so busy moving my visual and mental focus from those two obvious danger areas, right and left, that I completely missed seeing the not-so-obvious door in the middle of the wall directly in front of me.  It is SO easy to miss otherwise obvious details because you’re focused on something else.


Check this out (a very important point is made at the 2:48 mark):

You can read more about the phenomenon here:

Inattentional blindness


Back to our problem…

If you see someone during your scan, first look at the whole person.  Every person will fit into one of four categories:

Category 1 =  Friend

Category 2 = Neutral

Category 3 = Threat

Category 4 = Possible (threat)


‘Friends’ are people you know that can and will help you.  That includes those you actually know and those you can categorize as ‘Friends’ by their uniform, actions, etc.  I may not know you, but when you take your place on the line and lock your shield to mine, we’re friends.


‘Neutrals’ describes the vast majority of people (sheep) and may include people you actually know and call friends but who cannot / will not help you.  They just get in the way.


Category 3 is easy.  Category 4 presents a problem.


When categorizing people, be cautious about taking drastic steps based on individual pieces of information, whether that information is in the form of appearance or behavior.  Remember to look at the whole person.  If someone you don’t recognize is shooting AT you or running AT you with a contact weapon, etc., that probably means something.  But, not all strangers with guns are Bad People.

An important point

You may have difficulty recognizing people you know.  The eyes are working but there’s no comprehension.  I have seen people fail to recognize actual real life friends and co-workers during training scenarios where the stress level was presumably less than during a real incident.  Be careful.

Put yourself in their shoes

Should you decide to get involved in someone else’s problem, here’s a recommendation:  BEFORE you approach a Friend or other Good Guy/Girl this stressed, first call them by name [if you know it] and then say yours.  ‘Pat, it’s me, Steve!’  These three pieces of information – the sound of your voice, the fact you know their name, and your name – should help them mentally connect the dots and put you in Cat 1.


I know it sounds bizarre, but this is not an uncommon phenomenon.  Be prepared in case they don’t recognize you.  

Another One Day Basic Defense Shotgun?

In response to the write up of our last BDS, I’ve had a few inquiries about when we’ll do another.  That depends on you.  Any interest in a one day BDS?

.38 S&W Special Ammunition Available

Just got a call from Schofield’s ACE Hardware in Florence.  They recently received a shipment of 4K rounds of .38 Special ammunition (Blazer, 158 LRN), selling at $30 / 50.


Also in:  1K rounds of .357 Magnum, selling at $35 / 50.


.38 Special ammunition has been very hard to find lately so consider getting some now if you intend to take a CWP class.  We require a maximum of 100 rounds for a CWP class, although you can get by with less.  Minimum is 50 rounds for the qualification course.


They’ve also got mil-spec AR mags at a good price.


Any questions, call 843-669-6393.

Reserving a Spot / Deposits / Cancellations

We’re changing our policy regarding deposits and class cancellations.  For our classes at Lake Darpo, you probably know we have to arrange for the use of both the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office range and the Darlington County Recreation Department’s (DCRD) cabin.  In both cases we compete with others for that space.   So, when we reserve a weekend,  we’re impacting other people that may want the cabin or range but got in line behind us.


DCRD has a policy that they be notified of cancellations at least two weeks before the requested date(s) or the requester loses their deposit.   Over the years, we’ve had to occasionally cancel a class at the last minute and DCRD has been very generous with us, because of our non-profit status, and returned our deposit even though we were within the two week period and they could have kept it.  In return, we’ve been very generous in returning deposits of students who have cancelled at the last minute.  If it doesn’t cost us anything, we’re not going to charge you anything.


Due to the ammunition situation, class cancellations are becoming more common and I don’t want to lose the goodwill we’ve developed with the DCRD.  No problems so far; I’m just being proactive.


Here’s the new policy:

If you want to seat in a class, you need to get me a deposit.  If I don’t get a deposit from you, I’m assuming you’re not coming.  That applies to everyone.  If I don’t have the required number of deposits when I reach the two week mark, I’m cancelling the class then and notifying DCRD and the DSCO in case others want to use either facility.  


This doesn’t mean that ALL reservations must be received more than two weeks before a class date.  It means I’m making the GO or NO GO decision for that class based on deposits I’ve received by the two week date.   If you find yourself suddenly able to attend a class inside the two week window, bu all means contact me.  IF the class is meeting and IF there’s room available, I’ll gladly reserve a spot for you once I receive your deposit.


Obviously, if your situation changes and you have to drop out prior to the two week deadline, I’ll refund your payment or apply it to a future class, your choice.  After that, refunds will be decided on a case by case basis.


Again, this isn’t meant to be punitive to our students.  DCRD has a policy (for a reason) and this is what we have to do to operate within it.


Thanks for your understanding.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Edition 42


I hope this finds you and your team well.

We’ve got room in the CWP class taking place this weekend!  Don’t wait until the summer.  Please forward to anyone you know that might be interested.

Train hard, put God first!



Recap: Range Day & UBC Standards

The open range day will went last Friday.  Several Paladin alumni came out and took advantage of the opportunity to get some quality trigger time.  Various paper targets were available as were several types of steel.  The Dreaded Rotator was fun (and often enlightening) for those who had the confidence to try it.
Here’s a 3 minute video on the Rotator by its inventor:

Several participants left wanting one.  Contact my good friend Steve Camp at and he’ll hook you up.

Next time I’ll bring a Dueling Tree.  We’ve got a nice Speedwell Dueling Tree donated by Chris Watkins  Not sure why I didn’t take it last Friday.  It would been a good addition.

Most who showed up were graduates of our UBC course wanting to run the scenario.  We’ve added some new barricade / cover elements that worked out well here.


I purchased a S&W MP15/22 (.22LR caliber) early April and Friday was the first time I had a chance to work with it.  Every one I’ve seen or shot has been reliable and accurate and this one is no exception.  I’m convinced the MP 15/22 is a great training tool and I expect I’ll be using mine much in the future to supplement full power training w/ the standard AR15.


The most interesting gun I saw Friday was an MP15/22 with an integral suppressor by Innovative Arms in Elgin, SC.  Using subsonic ammunition, the thing was scary quiet.  All you could hear was the bolt cycle and the impact of the round downrange.


Like the unsuppressed versions, this one was very accurate out to 100 yards (the longest shot we could take).


I’ve heard nothing but praise for IA’s work and customer service.  You can check them out here:  Hush!


It was good to see those who showed up.  And a  big thanks to you who helped defray our expenses with a donation! 

Recap: One Day Basic Defensive Shotgun

We had a successful BDS last Saturday.  Most of the students had more than one EUREKA! moment when they learned something new and useful about the shotgun.  Also, most managed to complete the class without the expected bruising, ‘rabbit lips’, etc.  Of course, a slip-up in shotgun technique WILL be rewarded with a teaching point, as some found out.

Tactical Genius

A new addition to Paladin’s BDS curriculum is the ‘Biden’ technique:  At the first sign of danger, point the shotgun up in the air and unload it.  Never let it be said we’re not open to new ideas here at PTI.


What an idiot.


Actually, we worked a lot on basic skills like loading and unloading; we learned the pros and cons of different ready conditions; we patterned buckshot at various distances; we learned to engage threats to either side and to the rear while efficiently getting off the attacker’s ‘line of power’; we learned to scan; we learned how to pie corners and take the shot from cover; we did basic work with birdshot and then tested our technique with buckshot; we learned how to manipulate the action properly; we discovered the issues that come from having to fight with a shotgun from unconventional positions; we discovered that a weapon mounted light is not just a useful accessory, it’s an essential.


In short, we learned how to run the gun and hit the target, in daylight and in dark.   All the training comes down to this:  Win this fight, see if there are other immediate fights, get ready for future fights.

A Big Plus

We got to train in the rain!  I am seriously a little disappointed the rain stopped before the night fire segment as that would have added a nice component to the mix.


My relationship with the shotgun as a fighting tool is developing.  I started to say ‘confused’.  I spend so much time on the rifle I don’t think much about shotguns.  True, there’s one nearby as I write this, but I seriously wonder if I’d even think of it should the need arise.  Then, I teach one of these classes and I’m reminded:


The shotgun is an awesome home defense weapon! 


Based on student demand, we only do the BDS twice a year.  I would love to be able to make it part of the normal defensive firearm rotation and do one once a quarter.  It’s worthy of it.


If you want it, let me know.


Paladin Training will begin offering UT CWP training this summer, maybe JULY.  The class will probably take around four hours.  Cost should be in the $75 – $100 range.  Alumni of Paladin’s CWP training will get a discount.


Because our SC CWP class is twelve hours, the UT CWP class will be a stand-alone class and not added on to the end of the SC class.


We’re still working out the details.  I’ve completed the UT CWP instructor class, but still have some paperwork to turn in.  I’ll keep you posted.

Edition 41


I hope this finds you and your team well.

Please disregard the 2nd QTR 2013 schedule found in Edition 41 sent last month.  The revised schedule for the second quarter of 2013 is in the box to the left.

After numerous requests, two day classes in the 3rd QTR 2013 (July thru September) will return to the SAT / SUN format for that 3 month period only.

Train hard, put God first!



Range Day & UBC Standards

I will be manning the range on Friday, 26 APRIL from 9 am to 6 pm for any Paladin alumni that want some range time.

Shooting v. Working on gunfighting skills

Public ranges may provide a nice venue to ‘shoot’, but for good reasons, they usually don’t allow movement or work from a holster.  If you’ve been spending a lot of time training under those constraints, this is a good time to work on those two very critical areas and try to buff out any training scars you’ve picked up.


I will NOT be conducting training, but I will be acting as rangemaster / safety officer and doing what I can to keep the chaos to a minimum.


I WILL have some steel targets set up for your use.  You may also bring your own paper targets or you can use Paladin paper targets for .50 each.

Completed the UBC?

If you’ve completed our UBC class, from 6 pm to 8 pm the range will be open for you to run the UBC course of fire.  Bring your partner or we’ll pair you up.  If no one else is available, I’ll run it with you.


A donation to offset travel costs and cabin rental would be greatly appreciated but not necessary.


Please contact me to let me know if you intend to take advantage of either session so I’ll have an idea what to expect, attendance wise.

One Day Basic Defense Shotgun Next Weekend

Come train with us on Saturday, 27 APRIL.  The class will be held at Lake Darpo, Society Hill, SC and will run from 9 am to 9 pm.  There will be a night-fire session.


Contact me if  you’re interested so I can send you the details on what to bring, expect, etc.

About shotgun ammunition…

This is not meant to be a Universal Truth, but based on my experience, I have to conclude that most bird hunters don’t train for armed self-defense… at least not with a shotgun.  We have some in our classes, but compared to the bird and buckshot using hunting population, not very many.  I think this explains why, unlike centerfire and rimfire cartridges, shotgun ammunition is not currently in short supply.  I expect that to change.


If a shotgun is part of your defensive plan, take advantage of this oversight and stock up on the stuff before hunting season starts.  Expect to see shortages here, too, once the hunters start buying.  Don’t wait.

Legal Heat

Legal Heat has a useful app that will help you find gun laws of the different states while on the move.  It’s available for both I-Phones and Android systems.

Cost:  99 cents.


Check out:

Edition 40

I hope this finds you and your team well.

The schedule for the second quarter of 2013 is now up.  If there’s anything you’d like to see, please contact me and let me know.  Lesson plans for several new classes are in the works.


Note that we WILL be conducting a Basic Carbine Operator (BCO) class this weekend.  Some students have elected to attend Day 1 only and that’s fine.  That’s certainly preferable to not training at all.  Day 1 is where most of the heavy lifting occurs, where the basics are covered and – very important – where we’ll conduct low light training.


Low light training is critical.  We’ll conduct decision making drills, movement drills, flashlight drills and malfunction reduction drills in low visibility… read, ‘in the dark’.  Great fun and very useful.  Odds are pretty good that, should you ever need your defensive firearm, it’s going to be at night or in a dark place.


All our defensive firearm classes include a low light training block.


BCO focuses on learning to operate the AR and get hits with it out to 100 yards from standing, kneeling and prone positions.  It is now our entry level carbine class and a prerequisite for anyone wishing to attend upper level carbine classes like BDC, ADC or UBC.


We do have room this weekend if you can make it.


Please forward this to anyone that might be interested.


Almost forgot:  Note the 1 Day BDS in May!  Woohoo!!


Train hard, put God first!

Ammunition Shortages

What can I say… seems this is the way it’s going to be for the foreseeable future.  We’ve modified the curriculum of every class except the CWP to deal with the new reality.  Expect lower round counts and more dry practice drills in all the defensive firearm classes.  A two day class that formerly suggested 500 rounds can now be completed with 300.


The lower round count is not necessarily a Bad Thing.  When it comes to round counts, every good firearms trainer tries to strike a balance between what the student wants (a lot of shooting) and what the student actually needs to begin to learn (a lot of quality dry practice).


This is an extremely competitive business and some compromise between what the student wants and what is good for the student is to be expected in order to survive.  Listen:  Just because you’re shooting a lot doesn’t mean you’re improving a lot.


Every time you perform a technique some type of motor skill learning is taking place.  The question is, are you learning to perform the technique correctly or incorrectly?


If you’re mentally or physically exhausted and not performing quality reps, one of two things is happening to your skill set, neither good:

1.  It’s remaining constant (no learning is taking place) because you’ve reverted to your level of comfort. You’re simply practicing what you already know.


2.  It’s degrading (faulty learning is taking place) because you’re performing the new technique incorrectly.  You’re going backwards.


Either way, you’re wasting your time, money and hard-to-replace ammunition.


The current situation actually provides us the opportunity to give you higher quality training.


Can I Attend Just One Day?

Another result of the current ammunition shortage is that we’re getting more questions about the feasibility of attending just the first day of a two day defensive firearm class.   As stated above in the introduction, this is perfectly acceptable.


Class tuition will be 60% of the normal fee.


Any two day class to a new student:  $250

Day 1 only:  $150 ($250 x 60%)


Any two day class to a Paladin alum:  $200

Day 1 only:  $120 ($200 x 60%)


Any two day class to a full time LEO:  $125

Day 1 only:  $75


CWP classes are not affected.

Personal Stuff for Sale

Aimpoint Comp M4 for sale:  $450.  This comes with the box, mount and kill-flash.  It works fine and looks new.  Send an e-mail to if you’re interested.

Home Security: The Door Club

I recently bought a Door Club ( to study.  After seeing it and checking with Ronnie Summersett of Fludds-Summersett Security (843-206-5253) for his input, I’ve decided to install them at our front and back doors here at home.


The Door Club gives you the option of securing the door where it can’t be opened at all or, with a simple turn of the club, to where it can be opened a couple of inches to receive a package, etc.   Simple and sturdy.


The Door Club should be considered as a supplement to a heavy duty lock and strike plate, not a replacement.  Think layers.


No mechanical device is 100%.  The purpose in locking doors and windows is NOT to keep people (good or bad) out.  The purpose behind locking your doors and windows is to slow Bad People down to give you time to get ready to greet them properly.


The lock is not the solution.  YOU are the solution.

Stopping Mechanisms and Standard Capacity Magazines

There are three ways that bullets influence behavior.  We call them ‘stopping mechanisms’.  They are:

1.  Psychological stop

2.  Central nervous system (CNS) stop

3.  Hypovolemic shock  (HVS) stop


A psychological stop occurs when you get the BG to  change his mind about attacking you.  Maybe you shot him; maybe you just convinced him you would shoot him if he persisted.


A CNS stop occurs when the bullet does something to the brain or spine that prevents the BG from using his hands.  The signals aren’t getting from the brain to the muscles.  The BG may be dead or he may be paralyzed or maybe the CNS is just stunned from a near miss to the spine.


Hypovolemic Shock occurs from a severe loss of blood volume.  In our context, we reduce blood volume by putting holes in people with bullets.  This is the mechanism we spend most of our time training toward and why our usual point of aim is the upper thoracic;  that’s where the heart and arteries leading to the brain are.


It should be obvious that blood flows faster out of large holes than small holes; from deep holes more than shallow holes; from many holes better than fewer.


It takes time for an HVS stop to occur.  The average body holds about 5 quarts of blood and it must lose about 1/5 of the total for shock to set in.  We could be talking about several minutes.  Considerations:  Did we hit an artery?  Did we damage an organ that bleeds a lot?


If you’re armed with a six shot revolver and dump all six rounds into the BG in 2 seconds, what do you intend to do while waiting for enough blood loss to occur that he finally passes out and stops hurting you?


Back in the mid 1980’s I was driving home from work in Charleston, SC.  Around 2 am or so I got stopped by a red light in a small town.  There were no other cars on the road, no one nearby.  Then I noticed a man approach the intersection from a group of houses nearby.  He began to cross in front of me and suddenly swerved toward my car.  I leaned over and opened the glove box door to retrieve the handgun there.  That movement, which he immediately recognized, was enough to make him change his mind, turn on his heels and walk back into the darkness.  I achieved a Psychological Stop without firing a shot.  That I didn’t have to shoot him was entirely up to him.


Last January Paul Ali Slater decided to break into a home outside Atlanta.  It was about noon on a weekday.  He rang the doorbell and, not getting an answer, retrieved a crowbar from his car and used it to break into the home.  Inside was a mother and her two children.  She armed herself with a six shot revolver and ran into an attic crawl space with Slater in pursuit.  When he opened the door, she fired six times, emptying her revolver, getting five hits into his face and neck.  Good job!


Slater was blown backward by the bullets and landed in a heap across the room and never moved another muscle.  Wait… that’s not right.  That’s the Hollywood Version.  Actually, Slater’s response was to run from the house, climb into his Ford Explorer and drive away.  He eventually lost consciousness, wrecked and was discovered by LEO’s responding to the 911 call.   Last I heard he was in ICU.


Five hits in the face and neck, at close range and she achieved a Psychological Stop.  But, if Slater had the ability and energy to leave the house and drive away, he had the ability and energy to continue the attack.  That he didn’t was entirely up to him.  Our heroine certainly influenced him, but the decision was his.

Does caliber matter?

The numbers say ‘not much’.  But, I would suggest that’s true only because Psychological Stops are the overwhelmingly most likely stop of the three to occur.  Stats say 30:1.  And, as we’ve seen above Psychological Stops may occur with even zero rounds being fired.


So, how can we measure the success of one caliber or bullet over another when the primary stopping factor is psychological and determined solely by the BG’s mental state?  We can’t.  We can simply rely on logic and physics and play the odds.


Our thought process should be something like this:

“A Psychological Stop is likely to occur, but I can’t depend on it.  My best chance of winning comes from inducing Hypovolemic Shock as quickly as possible, and bigger bullets make bigger holes, heavier bullets go deeper and track straighter, and more bullets are better than fewer.”

Here’s the problem from the perspective of magazine capacity:  We place ourselves in a greater likelihood of getting hurt when we leave decisions about our welfare to the people that have already demonstrated an intent to hurt us.  We should arm ourselves with tools that allow us to control the action as much as possible.


Think about that mother in Atlanta.  What if Slater hadn’t changed his mind?  She was out of ammunition and Slater was again potentially in control.  What if he’d brought a partner?  Or two?  The results for that family could have been tragic.  If 15 rounds in a magazine is a GOOD IDEA for an LEO who is often not alone or who might have backup a few blocks away, then it’s a good idea for you who ARE likely alone and your backup (911) doesn’t even know you’ve got a problem.


Lastly, if there’s one overwhelming piece of evidence in favor of you owning a standard capacity semi-auto (whether Glock of AR-15), it’s that the government doesn’t want you to own one.  That alone should be enough to make every reasonable person go out and buy just as many as they can afford.   By this time, anyone still trusting the government to do the right thing is delusional and probably shouldn’t own a firearm anyway.

Edition 39

The plan is for me to have surgery on my right shoulder 17 DEC.  I expect a lengthy period of rest and then rehab to follow.  Until we get a few details worked out, we’re holding off scheduling classes for the first quarter.  Soon as we begin to schedule 2013 classes we’ll put the word out here.


Please forward this to anyone that might be interested.


Train hard, put God first!

Protection of Persons and Property Act Case?

Craig Bellmon beat an intruder to death with a baseball bat in his Dillon home last month.  39 year old James McLellan came to Bellmon’s home uninvited, Bellmon told him to leave, and McLellan ‘began fighting’ him.  Bellmon has been arrested and charged with murder.


My opinion:  Assuming Bellmon could legally possess a firearm, he wouldn’t have been charged had he shot McLellan.


Problem 1:  Prejudice

Not racial, but weapon related.  Deadly force is deadly force whether it’s delivered with a gun or a knife or a baseball bat.  But, people just look at the user of a knife or blunt instrument differently than the user of a gun.  It’s as if shooting Charles Manson with a handgun is clean and acceptable but caving his head in with a rock is brutal and wrong.


I think it’s wrong, but there it is.


Lesson:  Perception can be more important than reality. If you use a primitive weapon, be prepared to deal with ignorance and prejudice.


Problem 2:  Physics

One account indicated Bellmon continued to hit McLellan even after the latter had gone to his knees.  That can be a problem for Bellmon if the state can make it appear he ruthlessly killed a man who was no longer capable of attacking, in other words, he hit him after it was no longer necessary for self-defense.


Practially speaking, this illustrates another problem for the person using a contact weapon for self-defense.  It’s easy to press the trigger on a firearm.  It can take just a few pounds of pressure and can be accomplished in about a quarter of a second.  Recent research using time-motion studies can justify a late shot or two as  unavoidable.  It’s much harder to claim that your late hits or cuts on your adversary couldn’t be avoided because of the speed at which you were operating.


Lesson:  Use whatever you’ve got at hand, but control your aggression.


I hope Bellmon gets a good lawyer and beats this.

Follow-up: Changes to Carbine Curriculum

Last edition I wrote about studying under Paul Howe ofCSAT and noted we’d probably be making some mods to the BDC curriculum.  Last weekend we conducted a Basic Defensive Carbine class that included some of those changes and the feedback was universally  positive.  Consequently I’ve decided to go ahead with plans to introduce a brand new carbine training class in 2013:  Basic Carbine Operator (BCO).

A little history

The BDC curriculum was designed to meet the needs of the average student.  Most people who buy a carbine (any gun) for protection never get any formal training at all.  Of the small segment that decide to get trained by a professional, most who attend a basic class never go beyond that by attending an intermediate level class.  Interestingly, of those that do go beyond basic, the percentages are higher that they will go on to advanced training.


Fact:  The more training you get, the more you want.


Still, most stop at the beginner’s level, not appreciating  that ‘training’ is a never ending, ever advancing PROCESS.


With the realization that, training-wise, this was probably going to be my only opportunity to equip this person, the intention of BDC was to give that typical student enough training to keep the carbine running against the most common stoppages, hit a man sized target inside the average self-defense distance, and have a basic understanding of defensive tactics.  BDC is as much of the mix of gun-handling, marksmanship and tactics that we could fit into a two-day class.


The same rationale applies to the curriculum of our Basic Defensive Handgun class.

Enter BCO

The new class, Basic Carbine Operator, is designed for the person who wants to gain the most familiarity with the carbine and be the best shooter he can be in two day’s training.  While BDC is a mix of technical and tactical, BCO is almost entirely technical.   The intent of BCO is to thoroughly train the student how to operate the gun, keep it running, and hit a target out to 100 yards using the standard positions; prone, kneeling and standing.


A comparison of BCO & BDC


BDC:  1 to 25 yards

BCO:  7 to 100 yards

Low-light considerations

BDC:  Threat recognition, decision making, movement and clearing malfunctions

BCO:  Marksmanship and clearing malfunctions

Standard firing positions

BDC:  Primarily standing with much emphasis on movement

BCO:  Standing, kneeling and prone

Use of cover

BDC:  Yes, plus unconventional firing positions

BCO:  Yes, as it relates to the standard firing positions

Transition to handgun

BDC:  Yes

BCO:  No

Optics / Red Dot Sights

BDC:  Yes

BCO:  Day 2 only (irons on D1)

Weapon lube and maintenance

BDC:  No

BCO:  Yes


Still undecided is whether or not to make BCO a prerequisite for BDC.   There are many good reasons to do so.


There’s enough good material in this class to make attendance worthwhile for even graduates of our higher level carbine classes.  It never hurts to revisit the basics.


I’ll keep you posted.

Follow-up: UBC Standards

Last Saturday we conducted a ‘UBC Standards’ Day.  The DSCO range at Lake Darpo was set up as for an Urban Break-contact Carbine class and several two person teams comprised of past UBC students made multiple runs to help us establish a standard time.

Why a standard?

First, determining a standard is NOT to create a PASS v. FAIL situation for the student.  A standard simply allows you to compare your performance against others so that you can decide what areas you need to concentrate on in your personal training program.

Team effort

The COF required a two person team to alternately engage targets:  Team member B couldn’t begin to engage his target until team member A had gotten the required number of hits on his.  Some teams attempted to use verbal signals to facilitate movement and target engagement.


The COF also required two engagements per shooter at each yard line; 25, 50, 75 and 100.  One target was shot from left side of cover and the other from the right side of cover.

Multiple firing positions

The COF dictated which of the standard firing positions the shooter would use at each position or yard line:  Standing at the 25 and 50, kneeling at the 75 and prone at the 100.

Marksmanship v Speed

There were a couple of perfect runs (meaning no more than 28 rifle rounds and 5 pistol rounds were necessary to get the required number of hits), but at the expense of time.


Average time:  154.8 seconds.

Best time of the day:  125 seconds.

Personal Stuff for Sale

I’ve got two Yugo AK-47’s  for sale.  One has a stamped receiver and the other milled.  Call me for details:  843-618-1381


ARMS #59M SIR free floating rail and handguards for AR-15 (carbine-length gas system):  $250 firm

For a pic:



ARMS #40 rear BUIS.  This is a ‘same plane’ stand alone sight but can be used in conjunction with the #59 rail system above:  $50 firm

ARMS #40

Another IDH Testimonial

“First of all, Mxxxx and I really enjoyed your class the other night.  Neither one of us had a clue about what to consider in purchasing a firearm.  I had done some online research, but that only goes so far.  In fact, were it not for your class, I would have purchased the wrong gun for Mxxxx.  Your class definitely saved us a lot of money!  Also, thank you for the manner in which you lead the class.  I have been taught by many “experts” in various fields of study.  Many of them have a disconnect with an audience of a novice.  Mxxxx and I appreciated your patience and manner of instruction that allowed us the freedom to ask the questions that we had.” 

We really appreciate it when a student takes the time to give us feedback, good or bad.  Thank you, K&M!


The IDH is usually scheduled the Tuesday evening before every CWP class.   In fact, we’re having one tonight!


Time:  6pm to 10 pm

Location:  Varies (call 843-618-1381)

Cost:  $50 (taking the IDH qualifies the student to take $25 off their CWP tuition)