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A New Class Type!

Posted by Prairie Guns on December 8, 2009 at 12:16 AM Comments comments (1)

We are thrilled to offer a new class available this month - a class specifically designed for the individual who has progressed through the Basic Pistol Class and is looking to develop or improve some critical skills with the handgun.  The class is...

Reloading and Malfunction Drills (Pistol)


This classwill build on the skills learned in the Basic Pistol Class, and will focus on techniques for safely and efficiently reloading one's handgun in both critical and administrative situations (the latter often called the "tactical" reload) as well as clearing the basic types of malfunctions with the semi-automatic.  Students will need to provide their own handguns, two magazines (or speedloaders in the case of revolvers) and snap-caps or Saf-T-trainers.  Dummy ammunition must be checked with the instructor before use.

Please call or email as soon as possible for classes or individual instruction!


Part 4 of the USMC Rules for Gunfighting (explained & expanded)

Posted by Prairie Guns on November 28, 2009 at 10:02 PM Comments comments (0)

4. If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough nor using cover correctly.

Well, once again the adage "practice makes permanent" leaps to mind - as we train, we make every attempt to shoot from a consistent stance and to utilize all of the fundamentals of proper body position.  But there is another old adage that states "no plan survives contact with the enemy."  This is so very true with a self-defense situation in which deadly force is brought to bear.  If you are a past student of a Prairie Guns class, you might have wondered at first why I advocated one-handed and weak-handed training, and why I showed all sorts of strange examples of where a rather unorthodox stance might have to be used in a defensive situation - crouching behind cover, maintaining one's balance with one hand while shooting from behind cover, cradling an infant in one arm, holding a small child behind cover with one arm while engaging a threat one-handed, and so forth.  Well, we pray that there may never come a time when we will need to do this, but in the heat of an engagement we will likely NOT have time or opportunity to maintain proper stance!

While practicing what it is that we wish to make "permanent," we also spend some time in less than perfect situations, so as not to be caught off-guard should the need arise.


December at Prairie Guns

Posted by Prairie Guns on November 28, 2009 at 12:31 PM Comments comments (0)

With the exception of individual instruction, there will be no classes offered during the month of December due to a mostly full private schedule. Classes will resume with Basic Pistol in January of 2010 and Personal Protection in the Home in February. 

Individual instruction to meet a wide variety of needs will still be conducted on a "first-come, first-served" basis.  Call now to reserve classroom and range time!

Part 3 of the USMC Rules for Gunfighting (explained & expanded)

Posted by Prairie Guns on November 18, 2009 at 7:42 AM Comments comments (1)

3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.

This should, of course, stand to reason.  As a variation might go "it is better to hit with a .22 than to miss with a .44".  I believe it was Massad Ayoob who said something like "in a gunfight it is not a matter of who gets off the first shot, but who gets off the first shot that hits its intended target."

The bottom line is that you need to hit your target.  The first part of the rule should teach us that we need to train constantly (or at least often and regularly) with our defensive firearm(s).  While no amount of "practice" is an absolute guarantee of 100% accuracy, you cannot become a better shooter by only reading magazines and following blogs! A shooter needs to get out to the range and shoot - preferably with a trainer or a partner who can help with some drills or at the very least watch you shoot with a critical eye and perhaps offer some constructive advice on what you are doing (or not doing).

With the right amount of the right kind of training, the basic motions that are used in the defensive use of firearms can become more natural and some degree of muscle memory should develop - the skills will become more "natural" and easier to perform time after time.  This will hopefully go a long way toward addressing the second part of this rule and help you avoid the only thing worse than a miss.

Practice, practice, practice.  But be sure to practice the right things, for as we said earlier, "practice makes permanent."


Part 2 of the USMC Rules for Gunfighting (explained & expanded)

Posted by Prairie Guns on November 16, 2009 at 8:12 AM Comments comments (0)

Here we go with the second installment in this series:

2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Your life is expensive.


Does this seem to be just a humorous adage akin to "anything worth doing is worth over-doing?"  Well, there is more truth and more practicality to this rule of gunfighting than first meets the eye. Consider first the words "worth shooting".  Personal defense with the use of deadly force is nothing to be taken lightly - done only "in the gravest extreme" (to quote the title of that classic work by Massad Ayoob), the use of deadly force is ONLY applied against someone or something "worth shooting," quite obviously.  When a threat is engaged with deadly force, the shooting continues until the threat no longer exists (or, you might say, until it is no longer a threat).  The need for a follow up shot may or may not exist (dependent upon many factors, including the caliber of the handgun brought to bear, the ammunition type and the location of the hit), but when we train we must remember that we will fight AS we train - one cannot overstate the importance of practicing strings of multiple shots.  The defensive shooter must be ready and able to deliver a string of multiple shots when needed to bring a threat to cessation.

As far as the second and third statements go, while ammo might not seem cheap these days it is in reality  DIRT CHEAP in comparison to the value of the lives of your loved ones, those you are protecting and yourself. Your life is not just expensive - it is priceless.

USMC Rules for Gunfighting (explained & expanded)

Posted by Prairie Guns on November 12, 2009 at 10:57 PM Comments comments (0)

I am sure that many of you have seen the 24 "USMC Rules for Gunfighting".  The rules might seem humorous at first read, but there is a great deal of wisdom contained in them - and not just for Marines in a gunfight!  The principles - when reduced to universal standards - apply to all of us in defensive shooting.  I am hoping over the nexr few weeks to look ever so briefly at these rules and show how they actually do apply to all of us.  So, here we go with week #1...

1. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns. 


I sure cannot argue with that!  The first lesson we might take away is to ALWAYS carry your firearm.  If you are a concealed carry permit holder, make it a point to ALWAYS carry whenever you can legally do so. 

Secondly, it does not hurt to carry a backup gun.  With the plethora of high-quality diminutive semi-autos and revolvers on the market today, it becomes very easy to follow this rule and  carry a second gun. 

The final clause might escape us at first read, but for the civilian world I would take it as an admonition to see that all persons in your household who are able to carry and use firearms safely are ready to do so, and that they (as well as you) are armed at all times.  The revolver in a locked box upstairs does you or your wife no good when a home invasion catches you both unarmed on the first floor. 

The Three Rules of Gun Safety...

Posted by Prairie Guns on November 11, 2009 at 11:41 PM Comments comments (0)

OK, first things first...let's get this out of the way right from the get-go.  The most important thing about handling firearms is doing it SAFELY.  It doesn't matter if you are using a firearm for target shooting,hunting, self-defense or any other purpose - the last thing you want is anunintended "event" to occur with a firearm. To that end, let's always remember:


1. ALWAYS keep your gun pointed in a safe direction.  Don't forget that a "safe direction" might be something of a subjective term, based on surroundings, environment and circumstances - defending your family against a violent home invasion would have very different circumstances than an afternoon at the range, yet in neither case would you want harm to come to your family, loved ones or yourself.  Don't point that gun at anything that youare not willing to destroy.


2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire. As Eric Shelton of the Handgun Podcast might put it, "keep your booger-hook of the bang-switch."  Crude, but you get the point! Maintain good trigger discipline and you will go a long way toward firearms safety; when you are at the range, when you are hunting, when you are doing dry-practice drills and ANYTIME you have a gun in your hands - keep that finger off the trigger until you are ON TARGET and READY TO SHOOT.


3. ALWAYS keep your gun unloaded until you are ready to use it. Do not store your firearms loaded - that should go without saying.  Also remember to load up AFTER you arrive at the bench when you are at the range!  Remember, too, that "ready to use it" is subjective as well, as although you might not be just about to use the handgun that you are carrying on your hip for self-defense or in a gun box for overnight home defense, you need to be READY to use it.