Gun Talk

Summertime = Skill Refresh Time


There isn't much hunting going on this month, and it's a bit warm to go out shooting (unless you pay for an indoor range), but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be training. This is a great time for dry-fire practice, mental conditioning, close-quarters combat training, indoor-range time, classes, and research on legal matters. This is also a good time to check your concealed-carry permit to see if it needs to be renewed soon.

Dry-Fire Practice

Dry-fire practice is simply practicing with an unloaded weapon. You should never dry fire any rim fire guns because it can damage them. Most modern weapons won't be damaged by dry fire, but dummy rounds are cheap, so why take chances? Dry fire practice lets you get used to things that you can't practice at a range, such as drawing and firing, firing while moving, and even things like trying to get to your weapon while you're being attacked. Obviously, you'll need a partner for some of this.

Just be absolutely sure that all live ammo is removed from the gun and locked up safely in another room. Don't even have live ammo around when you are doing dry-fire practice. Remove the magazine, remove the round from the chamber, then double-check the gun before practice. If you are practicing with a partner, have him/her check the gun as well. Lock up all live rounds before proceeding.

Margie bought me a blue gun that fires lasers and we have a lot of practice fun with that. Blue guns are a great option, especially for practice with close quarters and drawing while under attack or on the ground. A quick online search for dry-fire drills will show you hundreds of options for training with dry fire.

Mental Preparation

Mental preparation is something few people even think about, but it is crucial if you carry a gun. Are you really ready to use it? You can actually take classes that will help prepare you mentally should you ever have to defend yourself or your loved ones. It's something you should definitely check into. Not only do you need to be ready to use your weapon, you should also be constantly aware of your surroundings. Bad guys look for people who seem to be unaware or distracted. Those people are called "victims". Check into courses that will prepare you mentally.

Close Quarters Combat

Odds are, by the time you realize you need to have your gun in your hand, the bad guy is already attacking you. Can you get to your weapon if someone has already started attacking you? What you need are several moves that will get the bad guy away from you long enough for you to draw your weapon (and your draw is something you should be practicing already, right?).

There are several good moves that will back a guy off, and it may be enough to make him leave you alone so that you don't even need your weapon. Margie has a black belt in Taekwondo, and they taught her several excellent moves like palm heel strikes, kicks, and elbow strikes that will knock a guy away from you at least temporarily, no matter if he outweighs you.

Our son David has a black belt in Krav Maga and he also knows a lot of great moves. In this case, it really helps to have a partner so you can practice the moves. Check online for martial arts classes, especially those that offer a free trial. That way you can see if what they teach is real world applicable. You can also see a lot of moves online, but be careful with those. You're better off with a reputable teacher and person-to-person training.


Check out your local gun store and see if they offer classes, or look online for gun classes near you. Our local shops offer all kinds of courses, including some designed specifically for women. They also offer classes like Improvised Weapons that will show you how to defend yourself even if you don't have a gun.

Also, take a concealed-carry course, and it will usually include some information on legal matters in your state. There are also books that will educate you about the laws about defending yourself in your state. This is crucial information and something you absolutely should not neglect. Use these dog days of summer to get yourself caught up on gunmanship.


Act Fast To Comment On Shooting Areas In Arizona

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced last month that they are accepting public comments on a proposed shooting sports pilot project on public lands within the Arizona State Office's Phoenix District. The pilot, being conducted in cooperation with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, will evaluate a variety of active management options to enhance access and safety.

Under the proposed pilot, consistent with Secretary's Order 3356 and the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, the BLM has identified four recreational shooting "microsites" located on BLM-managed public lands in Maricopa and Pinal Counties near Phoenix. The proposed pilot microsites would offer shooting-sports enthusiasts enhanced access and safety through varying levels of potential site development, such as firing lines, backstops, side berms, concrete pads and/or restrooms.

The sites were selected because they are located in easily accessible areas and have minimal conflicts with other recreation activities (such as hiking, mountain biking, off-highway vehicle use and camping) or with natural or cultural resources, housing developments, commercial permits, or energy and telecommunications lines.

The pilot will not change existing dispersed recreational shooting access, with approximately 97 percent of BLM-managed lands in Arizona remaining open to shooting sports. The pilot will also not affect licensed hunting on public lands.

A 30-day public scoping period will end July 2, 2019. Public input during scoping will guide the BLM's development of an environmental assessment of the proposal.

Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments directly on the ePlanning website. Comments may also be sent via email to: or mailed to the BLM Phoenix District Office at 21605 North 7th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85027, to the attention of Tyler Lindsey, or sent by fax to (623) 580-5580. Please include "RecShooting Microsites" in the subject line.


In June, Safari Club International President Paul Babaz praised efforts that killed an anti-hunting bill in Connecticut's Assembly. The Connecticut Assembly adjourned sine die for the current session, handing anti-hunting groups a stinging defeat by failing to advance Senate Bill 20, which would have blocked importation of elephant, lion, leopard, rhino, and giraffe parts from Africa.

"Hunters and wildlife conservationists around the world, especially in Africa, are overjoyed to see that Connecticut's SB 20 failed to secure passage in the state House of Representatives," Babaz said. "SCI orchestrated its grassroots and other resources in the state to educate, advocate, and defend the use of hunting as a wildlife conservation tool. SB 20 was a reckless, partisan assault on the basics of wildlife science. Far from protecting certain animals, the drafters of SB 20 would have condemned them to more poaching and further population decline.

"SB 20 was based on the erroneous belief that politicians in Hartford, Connecticut know best how to manage wildlife in countries halfway across the globe. Further, it is highly unlikely that any SB 20 supporter consulted an African wildlife manager or even the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service before introducing the bill," Babaz continued. "But by banning imports SB 20 would have caused more harm than good. Regulated international hunting is beneficial to wildlife conservation and this fact is recognized by authorities such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

"Instead of seeking to criminalize Connecticut's hunters, members of the Assembly should consider leaving wildlife conservation to the experts or to wildlife managers in the sovereign African countries responsible for these species," Babaz explained. "While SCI members view the failure of SB 20 as a win for international hunting, make no mistake, we will not be backing down or shrinking from the fight-in Connecticut or anywhere. SCI will aggressively defend international hunting as a tool for conserving Africa's most treasured species."


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