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Archive | Tactics and Training


Noted handgun course instructor Todd Green has started a new internet forum called Pistol-Forum.com. The new forum is a sister site to his blog, Pistol-Training.com (which is also part of the GunUp blog network).

Shooters of all skill levels are welcome and it is free to join. The forum already boasts some well known and very knowledgeable SMEs (subject matter experts) as members so it is already well on its way to becoming an  invaluable resource for those who are dedicated to honing their skill with a handgun.

You can join the discussion on Pistol-Forum.com.

Magpul Dynamics Strikes Again… From Far, Far Away

Magpul Dynamics has announced that the next installment in their DVD training series will be Art of the Precision Rifle. This DVD looks to have great production value, a heavy dose of cutting edge tech, and some techniques that are sure to go against the status quo – in other words, just what we have come to expect from Magpul Dynamics.

Art of the Dynamic Shotgun – Coming Soon

Costa and Haley take on the shotgun…

Art of the Dynamic Shotgun comes hot on the heals of the successful Art of the Dynamic Carbine 1 & 2 and Art of the Dynamic Handgun. Magpul Dynamics continues to impress with these high production value training videos.


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ST Action Pro Dummy Rounds

If you want to add realism to your home dry fire sessions then you need dummy rounds and the best dummy rounds that I have used are made by ST Action Pro. Dummy rounds are a must if you want to safely and realistically practice realistic reloads and malfunction clearance at home.

ST Action Pro Dummy Rounds consist of 2 parts: a real brass case (and in some cases a nickle plated brass case) and a brightly colored plastic insert. The real case makes them extremely durable. I have chambered some of my dummy rounds hundreds of times with little damage. The brightly colored case makes it nearly impossible to mistake these for real ammo.

It should be noted that these are dummy rounds, not snap caps. There is an empty cavity where the rubber bumper would normally be on a snap cap. However, these can be made into a snap caps relatively easily (sounds like a future Tactical Handyman post).

Take your dry fire training up a notch with ST Action Pro Dummy Rounds.

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Tips for Low Light Training – Keep Your Light Clean

Low light training is absolutely invaluable. You won’t be able to use that light on your rifle or handgun very effectively if you haven’t had effective training.

It is not uncommon during low light training for your weapon light to become coated with a dark gray layer of unburnt powder due to the light’s proximity to the muzzle of the gun. This gradually reduces the effectiveness of your light as it becomes more and more obscured by the sooty build up.

The best way to deal with this build up is to prevent it. Put a drop of whatever gun oil that you have on the lens of the light and smear it around with your thumb until it covers the lens. When the lens starts to darken with unburnt powder, wipe it clean and reapply the oil. The oil will prevent the powder from sticking and will make it easy to wipe clean.

If you have build up that will have to be cleaned from your lens there are two methods that have been suggested to me that work very well. You can use a pencil eraser or some tooth paste on a cotton swab. Both can be used to rub the build up from the lens. I have found that the use of oil on the lens before shooting often precludes the need for any serious clean up after shooting.

Get some low light training and keep your light clean!

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BLADE-TECH Training Barrels

I have been using BLADE-TECH Training Barrels in my dry fire training for about a year. They are a easy and very safe way of turning your handgun into a non-functional training tool. When the training barrel is installed prevents the use of live ammo while still allowing the user to manipulate the trigger.

Many people use molded plastic replica guns for practicing things like disarming, weapon retention, and tactical movement. The BLADE-TECH Training Barrel is less expensive than these replicas and allow more realistic training since they allow the use of the shooter’s actual weapon (including sights, holsters, trigger set up, etc).

If you can field strip your handgun, you can easily install these training barrels. It is a simple drop in replacement for the handgun’s actual barrel. The bright yellow color makes absolutely sure that you can not mistake the training barrel for a real barrel.

The BLADE-TECH Training Barrels are available for several common handguns.

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Lately, I have been making better choices, shedding a few extra pounds, and getting more serious about increasing my strength. Strength training often requires a lot of expensive equipment that takes up a lot of space but there are ways to build strength using what you already have – your own body weight. The push up has been around forever and it is an excellent exercise that builds your chest, arms, and core.

Hundredpushups.com is a website that gives readers a simple approach for gaining some pretty serious muscle strength and endurance. The goal is simply to be able to complete 100 consecutive push ups at the end of 6 weeks. This is accomplished through a method of constantly adding more and more reps. The program is never the same from day to day. It is constantly increasing reps until you meet your goal.

If you are looking for a way to increase your strength without having to purchase any equipment, you may want to try this free program. It is working for me so far.

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TRICON Line is Now Available

You may remember the TRICON like of tactical gear that we mentioned a few months ago. Several of the items in the line are now available for purchase.

With Jeff Gonzalez designing and Diamondback Tactical building, this will be top notch gear. Check it out at Diamondback Tactical’s website.

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Night Sight Considerations

Night sights are an invaluable tool for anyone who has a handgun for self-defense. They allow the user to see his sights even in low light situations. Realistically, any set of night sights of good quality will allow you to see your sights in low light but there are some considerations that may help prevent you from having a set of sights that are working against you.

What Are They?

“Night sights” are sights that have small vials of a radioactive element called tritium embedded into the sights. These vials or elements glow without having to be “charged” with an external light source. Tritium has a half life of 12 years so the sights will loose half their brightness in 12 years. It is not unusual to get 15-16 years of usable brightness from a set of sights.

Can They Work Against You?

There are two fundamental elements to accuracy. The accurate shooter must be to be able to control the trigger and align the sights. Your choice of night sights has no bearing on your trigger control, but it does affect your sight picture. Sight alignment starts at the front sight. The shooter must be able to focus on the front sight while maintaining sight alignment. Anything that obscures, obstructs, or interferes with this front sight focus is working against you and the fundamentals of accurate shooting.

For several years now, most night sights have been made in 3 dot configuration. This means that the front sight has a single tritium vial and the rear sight has 2 tritium vials (a total of three) on either side of the notch. The problem with this configuration is that the “dots” are usually identical in size, intensity, and color.

The two dots on the rear sight are closest to the shooter so they appear larger and brighter. This runs counter to front sight focus. The front sight should be the easiest to see since it is the sight that we must focus on but a traditional 3 dot configuration makes the front sight harder to focus on.

Since the dots are the same color, it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate the front from the rear sight. Some shooters claim that this can lead to situations where the sights are aligned improperly. The front sight can be aligned so that it is to the side of the rear sight and it can appear to be a good sight picture since all three dots will appear to be in a line. I am not sure how likely this is, but it is worth mentioning.


Traditional 3 dot night sights work, but, as with many things in life, they can be improved upon. Thankfully, there are several night sight manufacturers with excellent alternatives and many of them cost about the same or even less than traditional 3 dot nights.

Solution #1 – Different Colors

One solution is to make the two rear elements a different color, like yellow. The yellow tritium elements also have the added benefit of being slightly dimmer than their green counterparts. This allows you to quickly and easily differentiate between the front and rear sights in low light. It also makes the front sight easier to focus on since it is brighter than the rear sight.

Ameriglo Classic Sights with green front and yellow rear.

Ameriglo has offered traditional 3 dot night sights with this option for years. Ameriglo also offers their Operator sights which do not have white outlines on the rear elements. The front element retains its white outline which promotes front sight focus during full lighting conditions.

Ameriglo Operator Sights do not have white outlines on the rear sight. These are also available with the green/yellow configuration.

Solution #2 – Single Rear Element

Another increasingly popular solution is a single rear tritium element. The element is located directly under the notch in the rear sight. Instead of lining up three elements horizontally, the shooter simply lines up 2 elements vertically.

Heinie Slant Pro Sights show the single rear dot configuration.

Heinie and Warren Tactical offer sights in this configuration. Warren Tactical takes this a step further by making the rear element smaller, yellow, and without a white outline. This greatly improves front sight focus in all light conditions.

Solution #3 – Front Element Only

The least expensive option is to have a tritium element in your front sight only. Do not confuse less expensive with less functional. Many very serious shooters actually prefer this set up because of how simple and uncluttered the sight picture is.  Some shooters find a rear element in nearly any form to be distracting.

The 10-8 Performance Sights typify the single front element configuration.

Warren Tactical, 10-8 Performance, and Ameriglo all offer sights in this configuration. Additionally, Heinie sells all the parts you need to piece together sights in this configuration. You can also find a replacement front sight that has a tritium element that will work with the factory rear sight of many handguns. Ameriglo and Trijicon offer tritium front sights for several makes and models.


It is important to remember that night sights are not a replacement for low light training and they are definitely not a replacement for a flashlight/weaponlight and the skills to use them in conjunction with your handgun of choice. Night sights are certainly useful in some low light situations but not necessarily all low light situations. They will not allow you to ID a target. Get a light and get some training from a trainer that is experienced in low light training.

So next time you are shopping for night sights, choose a set that enhances your ability to focus on the front sight instead of working against it.

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New Surefire Z2-S

Strobing tactical lights have been en vogue lately and, now that Surefire is on board, it is safe to say it isn’t just a passing fad. Surefire has released the new Z2-S, their first tactical light with a strobe function. It is a single output LED light (160 lumens) with a strobe function that is accessible by triple tapping the tail cap switch. This light also features their excellent “Combat Grip” which allows the user to hold the light several different ways while also holding a handgun. I also find that the rubber rings of the Combat Grip help lock your light into your light pouch for an extra measure of retention.

I have the same issue with this light as I do with most strobing tactical lights. Why don’t they make the strobe light the primary mode? Triple tapping the switch sounds like it might be a tall order under stress, though it really isn’t a big deal since you will still have a 160 lumen wall of light even if you didn’t activate the strobe successfully.

I am certain that this light will be top notch like every other Surefire products.

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