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Ammunition should also be maintained properly. You should continue to face the target and keep your feet in shooting position during the reload. The added pressure required for double action firing will make a smooth, continuous, degree trigger squeeze more difficult but it remains a necessity. It varies from person to person. Flinching Its normal to flinch or physically react to sharp, sudden noises. FM Explosives and Demolitions

Words of warning, like Stop, may be offered in this condition. Youre either in the act of escaping or preparing to launch a response that will be delivered with maximum speed and agressiveness. Youre ready for combat. If youre carrying a pistol, it remains holstered but a careful, controlled shot can be delivered from this state in about three seconds.

As soon as the threat is apparent, you make your move. Whatever response or blow youve been preparing is delivered with total commitment and agression. Its important to realize here that you cant just resist a little. Youve got to show your attacker that you mean business. Only your pre-set checks, determined by your overall situation or target discrimination, will stop you once you enter this level of readiness.

Youre one second from getting off a controlled shot if carrying a pistol. Its in the White zone that youre at your most vulnerable. Most victims never would have been victims if theyd have been in the heightened state of awareness defined by Condition Yellow before the attack.

In Condition Yellow youll be able to foresee many problems before they actually occur. If youve got your head up and youre looking around, youll notice those people suspiciously hanging around your car in the parking lot well before you get there.

Youll see that unfamiliar vehicle full of strangers parked across the street before they rush you. Youll let that hostile looking joker ahead of you on the street know that youre awake, alive and not an easy mark. If youve got your head down with your mind visibly lost in the clouds, youre going to be easy pickings.

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Its essential to show people through your body language and alertness that youre aware of whats going on around you. Most criminals are looking for someone they can punish and exploit easily. If you look like youve. These rules have been devised to keep you from danger or get you out of it if combat becomes unavoidable. They all blend together and its important that you see them as overlapping parts of a whole. Perfecting the individual components will only get you so far.

If, for instance, you remain alert rule 1 without acquiring the ability to act decisively rule 3 or with violence of action 4 youll be missing a lot in your personal defense equation. All 7 of the rules below must be followed to give you the best chance of providing a secure environment for your family and yourself. While combat should be seen as a last resort, you must also dedicate yourself to the principle that you will do what is necessary for your safety and that of your loved ones in that situation.

If you have any doubts about confronting an attacker with maximum force and commitment, youre only going to be confused and hamstrung when the real thing comes along. Once youve made up your mind to do whats necessary, following the 7 rules below will go a long way toward keeping you alive and well. They served us well during our own combat and military experiences around the world and weve found them to be just as critical to issues of safety and survival in the modern civilian world.

Rule 1: As described above, you should strive to stay in Condition Yellow. This will come naturally to some people but others will have to work harder at it. Whatever, its absolutely necessary. Alertness is the key component on which all the other Rules of Survival are built. If you dont know whats going on around you, your ability to steer around danger or successfully respond to it will be severely affected.

Along this line, you should keep three allied principles in mind: Maintain degree surveillance. Take nothing for granted.

Look for anything that may be out of place. First, youve got to know whats behind you. Its not enough to be aware of whats ahead. Youve got to develop eyes in the back of your head or get in touch with those survival instincts most of us have lost.

If something tells you theres trouble behind, turn around and look. Set up a degree perimeter and refuse to be taken by surprise.

Second, you should be careful not to relax or take anything for granted. Dont expect a familiar street corner or scene to be safe just because youve been there before. Keep your guard up. Likewise, smiling or seemingly friendly strangers can turn unfriendly very quickly. This doesnt mean that you should look on everybody as a criminal. It just means that you shouldnt settle for analyzing surface appearances. Awhile ago, we were on a job in South Africa. We had jet lag and were dog tired.

We were walking on the streets of Johannesburg. Vendors and smiling faces were all around. We were only a block from the U. It was a beautiful, sunny day. Our fatigue and surroundings lulled us into a false sense of security. Before we knew it, we were pounced on by a band of local thugs and had to fight our way out of the situation.

We left a couple busted bodies and faces full of pepper spray behind but the whole event was unnecessary. Had we been aware of our surroundings, wed have seen the group ahead of us as we walked and simply avoided them. The rule here is that anybody, even a pro, can let their guard down and its funny how fast trouble can find you when you do.

Never, ever be lulled into a false sense of security. Crime can strike virtually anywhere. Which brings us to our third point. Always be looking for things or people who seem out of place. If theres a group of young men ahead watching you silently as you move down a street or through a mall, be on guard. Likewise, anyone whos on the move after watching you come into view should be suspect.

In fact, anyone who adjusts his behavior toward yours or begins to shadow you in any way should be viewed critically. Always make full use of your senses, especially the most important sense of all- common sense. If youre in a tight crowd and smell somebody with alcohol on their breath, youd best begin to heighten your guard. We know from past experience that drunks dont think very well.

They do and say things they dont normally do. They like to show off for their fellow drunks. Whatever the case, you want to avoid them. If youre in a public place, like a restaurant, keep an eye on the people coming through the door. If you see a guy arrive looking like a pregnant man with an overcoat on a sunny day, you may have a problem.

Sit with your back against a wall and close to an exit. Come up with a plan, especially when youve got your family with you. Play the war game. What would I do if? If youre carrying a weapon, how will you use it? How can you best get your family out? Where are the escape routes? This way, if something happens, your response is pre-programmed in your mind. It only takes a few seconds to play what if? It could save your life some day.

And dont just go to sleep while inside your home and think nobodys going to target you. You can be victimized just as well there. Realize that anyone approaching your home that you dont know could present a problem. And if someone shows up claiming to be a repairman or some kind of official, and you didnt call him, dont let him in until your sure of his motivation.

Credentials can be forged very easily. Think of your mind as a computer. You should be constantly loading it with a data base so you can react.

You should be taking everything in, analyzing it and planning your possible response. If something seems out of the ordinary, this should key a red flag in your mind. That doesnt mean you should draw your gun or pepper spray. But it means you should key in on any subsequent red flags. It could be as simple as someone walking toward you with their hands in their pockets. Maybe the guys just keeping his hands warm or adjusting his crotch.


On the other hand, we were always taught in the military that the. You dont know whats in those hands. As he approaches, the control center in your brain should be taking in information and spitting out advisories. Is he moving forward agressively? Does he have a distressed look on his face?

Is he posturing? What does his body language indicate? Obviously, at some early point, you should do whats necessary to alter your path if something seems wrong.

Go right or left or retrace your steps. Leave the scene. But if this is impossible, you should be preparing for a confrontation. If he flashes a gun or knife, you should locate your weapon for a defensive strike.

If he shows that hes open handed, you should begin locating your pepper spray, kubotan or picking out a strike point on the attacker. Its all a combination of threat assessment and response preparation cued by the central computer inside your brain. As the situation plays itself out, youre constantly assessing the threat and preparing your response. Your goal should be escape. If you can get out of harms way and go on your merry way, do it. If you just want to deliver an eye gouge or plant a foot to kick the guys nuts up into his throat, thats fine.

Just be ready to be on the move as soon as the blow lands and your opponent is temporarily incapacitated. As you take our course you may want to begin to define your own personal perimeter. A personal perimeter is the area around your body within which you feel uncomfortable having another person inside. It varies from person to person. Some people are comfortable with 3 feet, others 6. My own personal perimeter is 5 feet because I know that I can strike at that distance and be effective if I need to.

Whatever your perimeter is, you should be ready to strike an open-handed attacker once he gets within this distance.

Thats the too close for comfort zone. Just remember that criminals often have more rights than victims these days. You dont want to spend time in jail for taking some jerk to the cleaners unless its necessary. Your initial thought should be to do what is necessary to buy some room and time to escape. You dont want to get into a sustained fight if you dont have to. The line between reasonable and excessive force is a thin one and legally slippery.

If you can just neutralize your attacker and get out of there, youre best off. But to be on the safe side, you may want to check with law enforcement officials in your area to get a local definition of what constitutes excessive and reasonable force and plan your responses appropriately. Well deal more with how to respond to an attack later when we discuss our other 6 Rules of Survival. All the other rules of combat and survival revolve around this principle.

Rule 2: Exhibit Appropriate Attitude At its simplest, what were concerned with here is that you dont look or act like an easy target. Present an image that is formidable. Make them think twice about hassling or attacking you before the fact. Again, most criminals are looking for the easiest target possible. Primary to this attitude is the belief that nobody has a right to invade your space or harm you in any way.

If they do, you must be prepared to do what is necessary. When you have resolved to do whats necessary, even if it means launching a lethal attack of your own, you can begin to model the proper attitude. As you move through daily life, you should consider yourself on stage.

You must show through your body language and other cues that youre a confident person with purpose. This doesnt mean that you should swagger or walk around like some hood. You should give off a strong appearance, though. Walk with your shoulders back, head up and eyes clearly open and scanning your surroundings. Even if youre tired, you should do your best to show that strong, outside shell. If a criminal reads fatigue and sees you slouching and clearly not at your best, youll become a much more attractive target.

If youre uncomfortable or feeling a bit nervous dont show it by fidgeting, pacing or flailing your arms around. Stand strong and hold your ground. Make a statement with your body that you have a right to be where you are. Dont openly challenge anyone, but let it be known that youre aware and able bodied. Many people are taught not to make eye contact with others but this can really work against you. In fact, you should make it a habit to meet strangers with some eye contact.

People who dont make eye contact are often perceived as fearful, weak or shy. They make good targets. By making eye contact, you may disuade some jerk from doing the wrong thing. You dont want to have a stare-down with them or lay out a challenge but you do want them to know that youre looking out for trouble and wont back down when necessary. This is especially important for women, but they must be even more careful about it.

Eye contact can be seen as an invitation with macho types. By adding a business-like hello or other greeting and moving on quickly but assertively, you can put a stop to any monkey business.

Show yourself as someone to be taken seriously. Dont try to be cute. Be direct and purposeful. Again, criminals generally want to prey on the weakest victims possible. To help you portray a confident body image, always be aware of your strong side and keep it as clear as possible.

Your strong side usually corresponds to the hand you write with. If youre carrying a briefcase, purse, books or packages always carry them on your weak side. Children should also be taught to stay on your weak side.

Your strong side is your best, strongest side to mount an attack with. You should keep it ready for action. Keys or personal defense tools alarms, whistles, etc. Just seeing that youre ready for trouble may be enough to send a criminal off in search of another, more passive victim. It is your right as well as your obligation to defend yourself against violence. If more Americans took their personal defense seriously, crime rates would surely fall in the country.

Showing the criminal that youre a confident and committed person ready to act in your own defense can go a long way toward keeping you safe. Rule 3: Be Decisive Decisiveness involves your ability to make a decision and act on it. In the military, decisiveness is not much of a problem. Were trained to take action and we have no choice when a superior officer orders it. Theres not much to be indecisive about since theres very little questioning of a direct order. In personal defense, being decisive is not as easy.

Theres nobody telling you what to do. Its up to you to make the decision and, in a combat situation, theres very little time to do it. Again, the survival mindset is a necessity here.

You have to decide if you want to survive or be a statistic. If you arent willing or committed to doing what is necessary to defend yourself, chances are youre going to hesitate and blunder through a situation where decisions must be made quickly and acted on. Once youve got the proper mindset, the next step to insuring decisiveness at the right moment is to practice it. So youll have to role play in your head what you would do in specific situations. This is done by presenting yourself with those What if?

What would I do if confronted at the corner of Vine and Main? What if someone broke into my house? What if someone charged me as I got into my car at the mall? Wed prescribe doing of these What If?

Figuring out what to do in a situation can really help give you the confidence and speed youll need if that situation suddenly arises. Specific physical hand-to-hand responses should be practiced in the dojo or gym on a regular basis. Similarly, pistol skills can be practiced daily in dry firing drills. This practice is the key to developing your personal defenses.

As the ancient warrior and philosopher Sun Tzu wrote 2, years ago, The more a man sweats in training, the less he bleeds in war. Continuous practice will also contribute greatly to acquiring a decisive character.

Once movement is programmed into the body through practice and becomes muscle memory or a part of your nervous system response, you will be more able to let your body take over and supply the necessary movement in a battle. Beyond that, your brain should be given free reign to function and plan. Planning is a big part of being decisive. Where is the attacker most vulnerable? What targets do I have available? Am I going to take the solar plexus, eyes, etc.? What kind of blow will I deliver?

As you assess threat, youre also constantly planning your response and preparing for it. Likewise, if youre going to have to use a weapon, youve got to have it ready. If youre going to use pepper spray, you cant be caught searching for it in your pocket while your opponent strikes his blow. If youre going to use a knife, it must be open and ready at the correct moment. If your attacker is going for a gun, youve got to have your hand on yours and have it drawn.

All you have to see in this situation is agressive movement being made toward you and the attacker drawing his gun. Thats enough to activate your response. If you wait until he draws his gun and its on you, youre behind on the power curve. If his is drawn and yours is in the holster, its not going to do much good there. Youve got to hope he misses at least the first shot. Fortunately, the law allows you some latitude in cases where the lives of you, your family or other innocents are in jeopardy.

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If your attacker is clearly trying to kill you, possesses that capability and the only way to stop him is to do to him what hes about to do to you, you are justified in ending his life to save your own.

It is self-defense. You should have no problem legally. But if he runs off, you cant follow him and finish him. If hes down and out, you cant execute a killing blow or act like the Rodney King cops. In other situations, not so clean cut, the law can get very slippery. Still, you cant let any distant legal hassles get in the way of defending your life.

You cant sit there in the middle of a fight with a guy charging you with a knife wondering whether youre within your legal rights to kick his ass. You have to be prepared to do what you need to do to end the threat.

As the old saying goes, Id rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6. Practice your personal safety techniques. Think about how to properly handle different situations and internalize your decisions. That way when the time comes to act, youll know what to do to best keep from becoming a statistic. Rule 4: Speed Is Essential Speed goes hand-in-hand with decisiveness. Along with making the right decision about your response to an attack, youve got to deliver that response with lightning quickness.

Obviously, you cant go off on a guy just because you think he might attack you. But the moment an attacker shows that hes serious and makes a move at you, youve got to work fast.

You may have only one chance to stop this guy and youve got to get your best shot in before he has his way with you. Your object should be to turn any fight around and end it before your attacker has any idea whats going on. Youre not playing by the Marquess of Queensberry rules here. Its not a sport. Theres no referee. Youre trying to keep yourself alive and you dont have to wait for him to strike the first blow.

In fact, you should be pre-programmed and ready to respond as he makes his first move at you. In combat, he who hesitates is lost. Rule 5: Whatever you do, youve got to give it percent. Youve got to put every ounce of strength and will into the task. You cant hold back. If hes closing distance on you, foaming at the mouth and hes winding up with a baseball bat over his head you just cant stand there or think If I give him a good push, hell run away.

Youve got to be as dedicated to your defense as he is to his attack. Youve got to do everything you can to end his attack fast and get away with you life and health. Dont rely on posturing or talking tough to do the job. While this might work sometimes, at other times all it will do is make the attacker more angry. Youve got to be prepared to ACT. Youve got to transform all that adrenaline being let off by your system into a response involving maximum force of action.

Striking quickly and giving off whats known in the military as a momentary impression of superior firepower can pay immediate dividends. Most criminals arent prepared for somebody to go absolutely nuts and start fighting back from the get-go. Even if youre smaller than they are, fighting back hard can quickly even the contest up and get the attacker off balance. Nature is full of examples of David putting it to Goliath. Look at the badger or wolverine. These are relatively small animals but theyre so fierce that they can back off a grizzly bear.


In a sustained fight, theyd lose but by coming out of the. You can do the same thing, even with a much larger opponent. Sometimes this initial, full-scale response is all you need to send your opponent fleeing. Other times, it will just be enough to get you some room to escape.

Whatever, violence of action is a necessity in your defense. Show your attacker that you mean business. If hes coming at you break off that car antennae or pick up that brick or bottle and get ready to use it.

Fish out an ink pen or grab a flashlight. Get that pepper spray or other weapon in hand and ready yourself to use it. Pick a strike point for a blow and give it everything youve got. And be prepared to keep fighting with everything youve got until you can get yourself out of the situation. Turn your fear into anger. Be indignant. The criminal has no right to harm you. No right to lay a hand on you.

Show him this, immediately, and youll turn him into the fearful one. While hes mentally kicking himself for picking on someone as strong and resolved as you are, you can disarm him fully or make your escape. Again, the barriers between reasonable and excessive force may bother some people here. It shouldnt. Youve got to do everything you can to stop your attacker. If hes armed, especially with a firearm, hes going to be a threat as long as hes conscious. You shouldnt be taking any chances.

Put the guy to sleep. Likewise, if its gun vs. Shoot for center of mass. If hes about to take your life, you are allowed to respond in kind. If youre involved in hand-to-hand, go all out. Dont be afraid of hurting the guy. Hes already shown you hes out for no good and ready to do whats necessary to get his way with you. Striking him with a minor blow will only make him mad or get him thinking that youre weak.

Hell step up his attack. Thats not what we want here. Rule 6: You cant go out of control. You want to be thinking clearly and controlling the adrenaline dump youve received. Channel that adrenaline into your response but realize that you still have to keep control of yourself. How do you keep control? It was easier for us in the military because of all the experience and practice we went through. You wont have that luxury. But you will be able to train yourself and the more training youve gone through, the cooler youll be.

Likewise, if you have a plan to follow, nature will often take charge to make sure it gets completed. Concentrate on not hyperventilating. Use any calming techniques youve worked with. And dont stop thinking. Reacting without thinking can sometimes cause more damage than good.

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Take the split second you have to assess the situation, read it and plan your response. Then proceed. Dont let your mind go blank. Be always thinking, assessing and planning. Protect yourself during your response. Dont wade in with your fists blazing.

You can break your hand. Use a finger to the eye, if possible. Its more devastating to the opponent and safer for you. Keeping your cool is especially important if youre using a firearm. In a crowded area, be it on the street or at home, there are other people to worry about. If you shoot your weapon and miss, that shots going to find another target somewhere.

Accuracy if of the utmost importance. How do you get accuracy? Youve got to stay cool.

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But youve also got to practice, practice, practice. Dry-fire every day. Go to the range regularly. Take up hunting, if youve not already done so. Sports that require you to stay cool under pressure can serve as excellent conditioning for maintaining your composure in a difficult situation and shooting straight. Not that this is easy to do. Most shots fired in anger miss their mark. Criminals, who train far less, are even worse shots. Some, however, are going to be good and it will be just your luck to face off against them.

If you do, having the accuracy and precision that comes from practice will serve you well and help to tip the scales in your favor. Rule 7: The hero will be in a tough situation and, in some kind of High Noon scenario, hell be on a city street facing off against some bad guy. The bad guy will look at him and suddenly pull out his Taiwanese fighting sticks or whatever and begin making the Lotus sound and spinning them around in his fingers.

The hero will look at him for a second, pull his gun and, as the bad guy continues his impressive exhibition, shoot him before he has a chance of attacking. The audience usually roars with laughter but theres a point to be made here.

All the threats in the world only allow the other guy to adjust his attack accordingly. If youve got a can of pepper spray and pull it out while the bad guys 20 feet away, it might not do you any good.

Sure, it might scare the guy off but it more likely gives him a chance to make a new plan of attack based on your defense. You want to get that weapon of yours out at the last second to make sure the bad guy cant effect a countermove for it. In battle, the element of surprise has won many a fight.

It can also save the civilians life. Violence of action is also important here. The average guy isnt expecting you to pull out a weapon of your own. He thinks youre just going to lay down and die for him. The big surprise for him will come when he takes you for an easy target and you fire back with a head butt, foot to the groin or finger in the eye. Use your most punishing weapons against an attacker from the beginning of the fight. Dont wait. Along this line, youve got to ask yourself this question: What is a criminal most afraid of today?

Hes not going to be too terribly afraid of the police, who are understaffed and can only react to his crime. He laughs at the criminal court system, for good cause. Jail and other deterrents? Been there. Done that. What hes really afraid of is picking someone out to victimize whos going to come at him with everything hes got. Nothing-not the court, the police or any form of existing technology or weapon-is as effective at putting a stop to crime as a community of citizens willing to fight back instead of letting the criminal have his way.

Most criminals are cowards. Theyre sociopaths, mentally weak and unfit to live in decent society. Most dont want a fight. Neither do they expect one in todays society. If you come out of the chute hitting them with every ounce of energy and will youve got, most are going to be very surprised and youre immediately going to gain an advantage over them you can use in your own defense.

Yes, youve got to be ready for combat. But youve also got to be willing to end a situation by walking away, if possible. Our approach is to be on the lookout for a fight, not go around looking for one.

Along this line, wed prescribe that you consider every verbal threat made to you a real threat. You cant sit there in a bar or on a street corner wondering if a guy really means it. Youve got to be prepared to leave the area when anything looks unhealthy. Dont stand there and allow a situation to escalate. Get out while the gettings good. And stay alert! It is remarkable how many lives could be saved each year if people were just aware of their surroundings.

Be in Condition Yellow when youre out and about. Keep that degree surveillance in place. Stay on your guard. Look for things out of place. Make every effort to look like an assertive presence and not like a victim. Steer away from trouble. In most cases, this will be all youll need to stay alive and well. But be ready. If a physical response is needed youve got to respond in the way most likely to get you out of trouble. You must be prepared with a plan of action and decisive in its deployment.

Your actions must be carried out with speed and violence. You must be more committed in your defense than an attacker is in his assault. But, while hitting your attacker with everything youve got, you also must keep your head. Keep the computer working. Keep assessing threat, surroundings and your response to them. Be accurate in your response, especially with a firearm. Dont go firing wildly or defending yourself in a way that puts you at greater risk of injury. And remember that one of the biggest weapons of self-defense youve got going for you is the element of surprise.

Most criminals take to crime because theyre lazy. They expect people to be passive victims. When you strike back with everything youve got, most will be shocked and youll gain the advantage youll need to end the fight or escape.

Above all, you must be committed to your own safety. No one has the right to harm you or perpetrate any crime against you, your family or property.

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You should be angry about the crime that surrounds us today. There is no logical reason for accepting its existence. If crime comes stalking you, be ready for it. Promising yourself that youll do everything necessary in your own defense is the first step necessary to creating an effective plan for combating the crime and violence that is still such a big part of society today. Once youve decided that you will defend yourself to the best of your ability and with percent effort, all the other elements that go with providing effective personal security will follow.

The first decision youll have to make here is what kind of handgun you should use. Your choice is between a semi-automatic pistol and a revolver. The semiautomatic certainly has its advantages including speed of reloading and magazine capacity. It also includes safety features that the revolver doesnt have. Unfortunately, these same features can get in the way when youre in a stressful and dangerous situation. Youve also got to take into consideration what your primary security needs are.

For most people, home security will be at the top of the list. With the six rounds in a revolver more than adequate for the close-range shooting youd generally do in defense of your home, its probably your best choice.

A doubleaction revolver, which doesnt require the user to manually cock the hammer before firing, is preferable to the single-action. As far as ammunition, the general rule would be to avoid over-penetrative loads. Most homes today are built with drywall construction. While a.

Because of this,. A good, medium-bore, double-action revolver in a. Theyre simple, safe and easier to shoot in times of stress. Noise and recoil are less a problem than with heavier loads. And you dont really need more than a six-inch barrel although keep in mind that snub-nosed barrels can hurt accuracy. As for the. Its rimfire priming system isnt reliable. You also run a higher risk of oil contaminating the cartridge.

Costly misfires can result. When it comes to home defense, wed also recommend frangible bullets like the Glaser Blue or MagSafe. Hollowpoints can also be good as long as the caliber is not too big or strong. You should also try to get luminous, tritium-insert sights installed on your weapon to make it easier to use in the dark.

Stay away from those new laser sights, though. Hollywoods the only place they work well in. Their mounting systems are often flimsy and the hardware unreliable. They dont work in daylight. And that little red dot is as likely to alert an intruder of your whereabouts and make you a target as it is to help you get off an accurate shot.

All this is not to limit you in the choice of your weapon, of course. Given your individual lifestyle and situation a semi-automatic pistol, larger load and other variations may be more in tune with your needs. We work with a variety of equipment in this course. There are no absolutes.

And, bottom line, its not so much the equipment you use that will spell the difference between safety and victimization in your life. Much more important than the kind of weapon, sight or bullet you use is your ability to use it. You can have the finest weapon known to man in your hand and it will do you no good if you dont know how to use it properly. The ability to hit what youre aiming at is the key in pistol training and personal defense. You can only gain this skill in one way-practice, practice, practice.

Youve got to do your dry fire drills and practice shooting from a variety of positions on the range. These are skills that we teach at the camp and there is no other option to learning and perfecting them if youre going to provide for proper defense of yourself and your family.

Most every kid has a toy gun and, of course, he takes note of the fact that it doesnt hurt anyone. He also looks at TV and cant help but see people getting shot in one episode and coming back, good as new, in the next one.

TV producers are also hesitant about showing the graphic results when a bullet pierces flesh, so viewers are seldom shown the kind of damage they do.

As a result, its easy for young children to get the wrong idea about guns and view them as just another toy. If they know a gun is in the home they may seek it out in hopes of playing with it or, even worse, showing off to another child. Tragedy far beyond anything you see on TV can follow. You must realize that, even if you instruct your children not to play with your weapons, they may not be able to resist temptation. Here are some basic rules to remember when you have a firearm in the home: Keep your guns locked up in one of those quick-release strong boxes now on the market.

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The locked cabinet should be placed where its within your reach in case of emergency but out of the reach of children.

The higher you can get it from ground level and still be practical, the better. Talk to your kids about staying away from your guns. Though this isnt foolproof and actions speak much louder than words, making sure your kids know what they can and cant do is important. Keep in mind that teenagers can be very curious, too. You need to discuss the subject fully with them as you would a younger child.

Even if you have given your children some firearm training, you should be certain that they know they can only use them under parental supervision or in the most extraordinary situations. Dont make a gun into a conversation piece or let your kids play with an unloaded weapon. This will only spark their interest and make them more likely to see the gun as a toy and seek it out. Dont thoughtlessly pull the gun out and play with it or manipulate it in front of the kids. In fact, any dry firing practice in your house should be done in a safe and secure setting.

Again, you dont want to give kids the idea that the gun is some kind of toy. Dont model the wrong kind of behavior. Never keep a gun near a bed. Nightmares can shake a person up and cause them to fire blindly at some real or imagined target.

Likewise, a partially awake person is not in full control of their senses and may make a grievous error in judgement. Keep the gun in a regular place in the beds general vicinity, close enough to be found easily but far enough to make sure youre awake before using it.

Expect the unexpected. Accidents DO happen. Combine instruction with the strongest cautions for your children and keep your guns in a proper storage space with a strong lock. Never carry a gun in a pocket or waistband or in a suitcase, glove compartment or on a carseat.

It can fall, be bumped or catch on clothing and accidentally be fired. Never point a firearm, loaded or unloaded, at anything you do not intend to shoot. Always treat your gun as if it was loaded. Even if you know your gun is unloaded, treat it as if it was. That way youll avoid any surprises.

Stay away from alcohol and drugs when shooting. Even over-the-counter drugs for allergies and other conditions can affect your reactions and judgement and make errors possible. If youre carrying your gun in a holster, leave it there until you need to use it. Unnecessary handling increases the chances of an accident. On your way to the range, keep your gun in its holster or gun case. Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until ready to fire.

This will keep you from accidentally firing the weapon in case of a trip, bump or other misstep. Dont pass a closed weapon to somebody else. Always open the action. Dont cock a gun until the moment before its to be fired.

When you must lower the hammer on a live round, follow these guidelines: Move finger from trigger and point the weapon in a safe direction. Put your left thumb between the hammer and frame. Place your right thumb on the cocking spur to control the fall of the hammer. Pull the trigger with you right index finger and let your thumb and the hammer move forward a bit. Take your finger from the trigger. Let the hammer down slowly with your right thumb until it meets the left thumb. Remove your left thumb from in front of the hammer and guide the hammer slowly down with your right thumb.

If you must lower the hammer with one hand start again by removing your finger from the trigger and pointing the weapon in a safe direction. Place your right thumb on the cocking spur carefully and tightly as above. Put your right index finger back on the trigger, squeeze it and immediately remove it.

Guide the hammer down slowly and cautiously. To safely unload a revolver: Eject all the cartridges into your hand. FM FM Explosives and Demolitions FM Tactics FM Combat Service Support. FM Training the Force. FM Battle Focused Training. FM Ranger Unit Operations. FM Terrain Analysis. FM Countermobility. FM Survivability. FM General Engineering. FM Tank Platoon. FM Camouflage, Concealment, and Decoys. FM Physical Fitness Training. FM Visual Signals. FM — Combatives.

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