Posts Tagged ‘Training’

Just a little fun…

November 2, 2011

Back in the day when training new E.M.T.’s they were often driving white knuckled and, to be blunt, terrified. Well, I developed a technique that would distract them… So to speak, from their fears. Most often resulting in them busting out laughing, lowering their stress level, and getting us to the scene intact.

Last evening my phone rang, and it was an old aquantince. One that has to deal with the same problems today that I addressed back then. So, my faithful readers. Put the fine crystal away, and sing along! Your voice certainly can’t be any worse than mine is, and was! 🙂

Jack o’ Diamonds, Jack o’ Diamonds and I know you of old
You’ve robbed my poor pockets of silver and gold
It’s a whiskey, you villain, you’ve been my downfall
You’ve kicked me, you’ve cuffed me, but I love you for all

It’s a whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If I don’t get rye whiskey, well, I think I will die

I’ll eat when I’m hungry, I’ll drink when I’m dry
If the hard times don’t kill me, I’ll lay down and die
I’ll tune up my fiddle and I ‘ll rosin my bow
I’ll make myself welcome, wherever I go

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If a tree don’t fall on me, I’ll live till I die

Beefsteak when I’m hungry red liquor when I’m dry
Greenbacks when I’m hard up and religion when I die
They say I drink whiskey, my money’s my own
All them that don’t like me, can leave me alone

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If a tree don’t fall on me, I’ll live till I die

Sometimes I drink whiskey, sometimes I drink rum
Sometimes I drink brandy, at other times none
But if I get boozey, my whiskey’s my own
And them that don’t like me, can leave me alone

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If a tree don’t fall on me, I’ll live till I die

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck
I’d dive to the bottom to get one sweet suck
But the ocean ain’t whiskey and I ain’t a duck
So we’ll round up the cattle and then we’ll get drunk

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If the whiskey don’t kill me, I’ll live till I die

My foot’s in my stirrup, my bridle’s in my hand
I’m leaving sweet Lillie, the fairest in the land
Her parents don’t like me, they say I’m too poor
They say I’m unworthy to enter her door

It’s a whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If I don’t get rye whiskey, well, I think I will die

Sweet milk when I’m hungry, rye whiskey when I’m dry
If a tree don’t fall on me, I’ll live till I die
I’ll buy my own whiskey, I’ll make my own stew
If I get drunk, madam, it’s nothing to you

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If a tree don’t fall on me, I’ll live till I die

I’ll drink my own whiskey, I’ll drink my own wine
Some ten thousand bottles I’ve killed in my time
I’ve no wife to quarrel, no babies to bawl
The best way of living is no wife at all

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If a tree don’t fall on me, I’ll live till I die

Way up on Clinch Mountain I wander alone
I’m as drunk as the devil, oh, let me alone
You may boast of your knowledge an’ brag of your sense
‘Twill all be forgotten a hundred years hence

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, you’re no friend to me
You killed my poor daddy, God damn you, try me

Then there was….

Well, I don't care if it rains or freezes,
Long as I have my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Through all trials and tribulations,
We will travel every nation,
With my plastic Jesus I'll go far.

Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Through all trials and tribulations,
We will travel every nation,
With my plastic Jesus I'll go far.

I don't care if it rains or freezes
As long as I've got my Plastic Jesus
Glued to the dashboard of my car,
You can buy Him phosphorescent
Glows in the dark, He's Pink and Pleasant,
Take Him with you when you're travelling far


I don't care if it's dark or scary
Long as I have magnetic Mary
Ridin' on the dashboard of my car
I feel I'm protected amply
I've got the whole damn Holy Family
Riding on the dashboard of my car


You can buy a Sweet Madonna
Dressed in rhinestones sitting on a
Pedestal of abalone shell
Goin' ninety, I'm not wary
'Cause I've got my Virgin Mary
Guaranteeing I won't go to Hell


I don't care if it bumps or jostles
Long as I got the Twelve Apostles
Bolted to the dashboard of my car
Don't I have a pious mess
Such a crowd of holiness
Strung across the dashboard of my car


No, I don't care if it rains or freezes
Long as I have my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
But I think he'll have to go
His magnet ruins my radio
And if we have a wreck he'll leave a scar


Riding through the thoroughfare
With his nose up in the air
A wreck may be ahead, but he don't mind
Trouble coming, he don't see
He just keeps his eyes on me
And any other thing that lies behind

Plastic Jesus, Plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Though the sun shines on his back
Makes him peel, chip, and crack
A little patching keeps him up to par

When pedestrians try to cross
I let them know who's boss
I never blow my horn or give them warning
I ride all over town
Trying to run them down
And it's seldom that they live to see the morning

Plastic Jesus, Plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
His halo fits just right
And I use it as a sight
And they'll scatter or they'll splatter near and far

When I'm in a traffic jam
He don't care if I say Damn
I can let all sorts of curses roll
Plastic Jesus doesn't hear
For he has a plastic ear
The man who invented plastic saved my soul

Plastic Jesus, Plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Once his robe was snowy white
Now it isn't quite so bright
Stained by the smoke of my cigar

God made Christ a Holy Jew
God made Him a Christian too
Paradoxes populate my car
Joseph beams with a feigned elan
From the shaggy dash of my furlined van
Famous cuckold in the master plan

Naughty Mary, smug and smiling
Jesus dainty and beguiling
Knee-deep in the piling of my van
His message clear by night or day
My phosphorescent plastic Gay
Simpering from the dashboard of my van

When I'm goin' fornicatin
I got my ceramic Satan
Sinnin' on the dashboard of my Winnebago Motor Home
The women know I'm on the level
Thanks to the wild-eyed stoneware devil
Ridin' on the dashboard of my Winnebago Motor Home
      Sneerin' from the dashboard of my Winnebago Motor Home
      Leering from the dashboard of my van

If I weave around at night
And the police think I'm tight
They'll never find my bottle, though they ask
Plastic Jesus shelters me
For His head comes off, you see
He's hollow, and I use Him for a flaskPlastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Ride with me and have a dram
Of the blood of the Lamb
Plastic Jesus is a holy bar

Enjoy John!


USCCA Newsletter

July 25, 2009

USCCA sends out newsletters like many organizations do. They also provide some pretty good training ideas. Here is one from the recent newsletter. Things like this will not replace first class training such as at Front Sight, but it will help. Enjoy!

Practice to Prevail: A Practice Regimen to Hit Where You Aim

“…Remember that perfect practice makes permanent…”

by Gary HoffThose of us who have a license to carry a concealed handgun should understand that it is our responsibility to be proficient with the handgun and have the ability to deploy the handgun when it is required. Merriam – Webster’s online dictionary defines proficient as “(implying) a thorough competence derived from training and practice“. That means that we are competent in employing the handgun and hitting the target.

Training is acquired from reliable organizations employing experienced instructors, usually with a background in law enforcement, military or extensive civilian experience. You are encouraged to seek this professional training. Practice is what you do to maintain the skills that you acquired from the professional trainers. Of all these skills the ability to efficiently draw the handgun and to hit what you aim at are paramount. Without these two skills everything else that you learned in professional training is worthless. Who cares if you can “slice the pie” around a corner or shoot from a car if you can’t hit what you aim at.

What follows is a practice regimen that has helped me. It is not expensive, laborious, nor boring and it helps me maintain my “trigger time”. Hopefully you can use this regimen as well.

Where to Practice?

There are three answers to this question: at home, at an outdoor range, or at an indoor range. Many ranges today now employ “safe range rules” which limits what you can do in the way of practice. For example, drawing from the holster is pretty much out of the question at many ranges. Practice at home usually involves only dry fire practice where no live ammo is involved (holes in that new plasma TV set are frowned upon).

So what’s best? It depends on where you live and the facilities available to you. Routine dry fire practice at home is strongly encouraged and helps maintain grip/sight/trigger control. As far as the live fire range is concerned, I prefer the indoor range. It’s convenient, targets can be changed at will, range can be varied, warmer in the winter, etc. When I go to practice, I go to concentrate on that practice, not stand around during the practice time and wait for the “line safe” command so that I can change targets.

Hit What You Aim At

Two important components of a handgun that determine whether or not you will hit what you aim at are the sights and the trigger.

As the distance to the target increases, sights become more important. However, at less than seven yards, the common self defense distances, sights have less importance and may not be possible to bring into action or they may have magically disappeared. In one training class that I attended, the front sight on my Glock 30 was knocked off and lost. You won’t have time to fix the problem in a real gun fight so I didn’t take the time in the course. After a few minutes of shooting, I learned how to shoot my G30 without a front sight and get hits. I finished the day without the sight.

The trigger is another matter altogether. Any trainer will tell you that trigger control is central to getting hits at all ranges. If you are shooting at less than seven yards and you are missing the target, it is your trigger control that is at fault. Special ammo, special sights, “sticky grips” won’t help you. You are jerking the trigger, pushing the trigger sideways, slapping the trigger or over gripping the gun with the strong hand rather than simply pressing the trigger straight back along the axis of the bore. Spend your money on practice ammo and professional training.

Two basic trigger finger positions. The one that works depends on your hand size and the size / shape of the gun. Gun is a Glock 30.

Pressing the trigger straight back requires the proper finger position on the trigger and moving only the trigger finger. This in turn depends on the size of the gun, the size of your hand and fingers, and the design of the grip. Picture 1 shows the “pad” and the “first joint” of the finger on the trigger (thumb is down to show the trigger finger). Generally you will be instructed to use the pad of the finger for most semi-automatic handguns and the first joint for most revolvers. Good info as far as it goes but it doesn’t take into account the relative size of the hand and the gun.

In my case, I shoot my carry guns, the Glock 26 and the Glock 30, exclusively. These are small guns and I have large hands with long fingers. I found that when I use the pad of the finger, I will invariably throw the shot low and left (shooting right handed). When I move the first joint to the trigger my shots hit point of aim. Thus, I shoot with the first joint of the finger on the trigger.

The point is to find out where you have to place your finger to manipulate the trigger straight back along the axis of the bore. To do this, start with dry fire practice ( NO AMMO and the gun double checked to be sure that it is empty, including the chamber, every time you pick it up). With the gun pointed in a safe direction and an aiming point established, slowly press the trigger until the firing pin is released. The sights should stay on the aiming point (make the aiming point very small so that it is easier to see the muzzle moving off the point of aim). If the trigger press doesn’t feel comfortable and relaxed adjust your finger position until you achieve success. Make sure the last three fingers of the strong hand do not over grip the gun.

Make your practice slow, deliberate and concentrated. When you begin to speed up, or your concentration wanders, quit for the day. Remember that perfect practice makes permanent. Once you achieve repeatability in dry fire practice, move to the live fire range.

Range Practice Routine

Firing live ammo at the range adds the dimension of recoil to your practice. Recoil will move the gun off the aiming point on each shot. This will require you to reset the aim of the gun each time. A common reaction to this is to grip the gun tighter. This will cause the gun to waver more as you try to line up the shot, causing more problems in hitting your target. Keep your hand/grip uniform from shot to shot. I like to use the full size silhouette paper targets. Shots off the aiming point are more likely to be on paper and you will then know where they are going. I add a 3″ orange sticker to the target as an aiming point. This ensures that each shot fired is at the same aim point. If you can’t see where your shots are going, the practice is nothing more than throwing lead down range.

Typical indoor range set up. Note computer control on the left for this new range. Range picture courtesy of Vandalia Range & Armory ( Target is the “Crazy Bones” from Thompson Target.

My practice regimen is simple: 200 rounds over a one hour period shot in the following manner. Start at 25 yards, fire 100 rounds in 10 round strings, 50 rounds per target. Then move to 15 yards, fire 50 rounds in 10 round strings. Finally, move to 7 yards and fire 50 rounds in 10 round strings. Evaluate the shots after every 10 round string.

All shots should be centered on the aiming point. If the shots are strung out low and left [right-handed shooter] you are probably jerking or slapping the trigger. If the shots are high or low, the problem may be your sight alignment. Remember that to get center hits the trigger must come straight back along the axis of the bore. Mark the shots with a marker, reset the target at distance, and shoot another string of 10 and evaluate.

Why start at 25 yards? Because at this range you will quickly know how well you are operating the trigger. Trigger error can be harder to see at seven yards. If your shots are on point of aim, great. If not, slow down, concentrate and get your skills tuned in.

What accuracy should you strive for? All shots in one hole at 25 yards, of course! Well that’s not going to happen so let’s be practical. The distance between the nipples on a human’s chest is about 9″. That is my goal at 25 yards; all 50 shots per target within a 9″ circle. Simple mathematics will show that 9″ at 25 yards is about 5.5″ at 15 yards and about 2.5 – 3″ at seven yards. So now each target can be evaluated against accuracy goals. Certainly shot spreads smaller than this are desired and easily achievable. Live fire practice will reduce this spread but under no circumstances should the spread be larger.

What can the targets tell you? At longer ranges, if the shots are centered around your aiming point, you need to work on both sights and trigger to improve accuracy. If the shots are scattered, for example, low and left (for a right handed shooter), then you need to work more on the trigger. Being critical of your results here will help you progress.

I should point out that my range practice is usually done with a two hand hold and an isosceles stance (natural for me, not preaching). Periodically I will practice with the strong hand or weak hand only. For one handed shooting I reduce the distance to 15 yards maximum, burn 100 rounds and then move to seven yards for another 100 rounds.

Two targets, shot at 25 yards (top) and 7 yards (bottom). The 25 yard target has a 9″ circle drawn around the bulk of the shots. Note shots low and left in both target

Drawing Practice

Now that you can hit what you aim at, you must learn to efficiently draw the gun from the holster. I will not cover clearing a concealment garment so that you can get to the holster. That is a topic for a whole other article. I want to concentrate on practice to make the draw smooth and efficient. The draw stroke that I use is a four step process (adapted from the noted firearms instructor Dave Spaulding). It has been covered in many magazine articles and book chapters. The four step process is to bring the hand to the gun and get a firing grip on the gun. Pull straight up to clear the holster (this will raise the elbow). Drop the elbow orienting the gun to the target. Push the gun straight to the target, acquiring sights and a support hand grip as you go. If you are going to shoot, then the “shot” should break just as you reach full extension and are on target.

But how do you know if you are “fast and efficient”? You will achieve this if you are “consistent and smooth”. You can achieve this with a shot timer that has a “par” time setting and dry fire practice. Par time is simply a fixed amount of time to get a task done. Like golf, par is hitting only the required number of shots to get from the tee to the hole. The timer should also have a delay built in so that the start “beep” is random. This is dry fire practice; NO AMMO anywhere; GUN IS UNLOADED!

Start slow; set the par time for five seconds At the start beep, draw the gun, bring it on target and align the sights before the second, or stop beep. Pick a target out about seven yards in front of you. Stay on target for a few seconds (looking for other bad guys). Then reverse your drawstroke and reholster the gun.

Repeat this practice until you can get “sights on” within the five second par time with a smooth, uniform draw. Then move the par time to 4.5 seconds. When consistency is achieved here, reduce the par time to four seconds, then to three seconds and so forth. You should be able to get the draw and shot off within about 1.5 seconds. If you start hurrying the draw (and you will know when this happens) stop the practice and come back later when you can concentrate. Sloppy practice results in sloppy, period. Remember, “consistent and smooth” results in “fast and efficient”.

You might ask why not just bring the gun up on target and pull the trigger, hearing the click of the firing pin before the second stop beep of the par time? This is not recommended since this will train you to fire the gun every time that you bring the gun on target. To recognize why this is a bad idea, consider what would happen if police were trained to fire every time they brought their gun up on target. So, do not train to fire every time you bring the gun up on target.

A Couple of Other Comments

During drawing practice, you must develop the ability to draw the gun, get on target and reholster without looking at the gun and holster. That is, do the practice without taking your eye off the target. Remember, you have to pay attention to the bad guys and you can’t do that watching yourself draw or reholster the gun. Another point: if you can’t reholster the gun without holding the holster open with your support hand get another holster! Saving money by buying a cheap holster is a waste of money. Never, ever muzzle yourself; not even your fingers! You may have ten fingers but there is no reason to sacrifice them.

This same draw practice should also be used to practice magazine changes. Pull the slide back to slide lock. At the start beep, drop the magazine, get a fresh one from your magazine pouch and insert it into the gun. Use the slide stop lever to release the slide. Get on target and “sights on” before the stop beep. Start with a par time of three seconds and work your way down. Again a 1 – 1.5 second time is admirable.

In Conclusion….

Whether or not you seek professional training (and I strongly encourage you to do so), you still need to practice hitting what you aim at and deploying the gun when necessary. Carrying a concealed handgun for your defense is a grave responsibility. You must be proficient with that gun. The practice regimen that I have presented isn’t very expensive nor is it very time consuming. Feel free to use it as is or modify it to suit your own needs. But remember, sloppy practice results in sloppy, period. Stay safe, and check 360.

Author Bio
Gary Hoff has recently retired after 41 years in the steel industry as an engineer/metallurgist. He began taking professional handgun, shotgun, knife, and open hands self defense courses in 1998. Most of these classes have been taken at the Tactical Defense Institute (TDI – He has also completed Handgun Level Three course at Storm Mountain Training Center in Elk Garden, WV ( He has currently accumulated a total of 430 training hours, including 330 hours of handgun training. Gary is also a member of IDPA and regularly shoots monthly and regional matches. He is an NRA Certified pistol and home defense instructor.

Front Sight, simply the best that there is!

January 12, 2008

front-sight-logo.jpgJanuary 11, 2008

Dr. Ignatius Piazza
Founder and Director

Do You “Digg” Front Sight and the Millionaire Patriot?

Dear Patrick,

I’d like to ask you a favor by helping me in a little
Internet experiment…

I created the page
and am giving you the first shot at the unbelievable offer
before I begin promoting it throughout the Internet by
various methods.

Since it is a brand new page, I would like to see if WE (me,
you, and our fellow Front Sight enthusiasts) can get it
immediately listed high in the search engines.

Would you please do me the favor of placing as a link on any and
all of your personal and business web pages? I would
appreciate it very much.

And equally important for this particular Internet
experiment, please go to and join
the “Digg” Community. Once you have joined Digg, then click
on the “Digg It” button I installed on the top of which will
dramatically help the offer get quickly exposed to the
Digg Community throughout the Internet world.

I will let you know how this all works in a couple of weeks.

Again, I greatly appreciate your favor in placing the link on your
websites today and helping us penetrate the online Digg
Community by joining it and then clicking on the Digg It
button on the Millionaire Patriot page at:

Thanks again for your support in spreading this fabulous
offer to all who will appreciate it.

I look forward to seeing you at Front Sight soon!


Dr. Ignatius Piazza
Founder and Director
Front Sight Firearms Training Institute

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