Blog

As a lot of you know, I am a product reviewer and content creator for the firearms industry. Along with that, I want to create a blog in text form in order to cover topics that I may have missed in my videos. This page is where I will write reviews, tips, tricks and the like, so stay tuned for more to come.

Sage Dynamics - Defensive Handgun I

   So why do we train? A lot of us want to enhance our self-defense skills, some of us just want to become better shooters, but most of us are geared toward the self-defense and home protection aspect in one way or another. Whether your main purpose is to protect your family at home, or to protect yourself when you are out and about, training is an essential function that we all need to take very seriously.

   We tend to go through the motions when we are at the range, perhaps we don’t have access to a range that allows us to properly train, or maybe we just have no idea what we need to do to get proper training. The fact is, a lot of us are stuck in an indoor range, shooting like cattle in a stall, being forced to load at a table and keep our firearms out of the holster. This type of shooting usually focuses on tight groups, hitting the bullseye, and staying still.  

   In reality, that is not what I like to do. Don’t get me wrong, tight groups are important, and being able to hit your target is definitely a must, but when the adrenaline gets going, your heart starts pumping, and fear sets in, things tend to change.

   I feel it is every shooter’s responsibility to further their firearms/self-defense training and education. I train to better myself, to better my awareness, and to keep me alive during a critical incident. With that being said, I have taken many classes, one recent class in particular really stands out. This class is the Sage Dynamics Defensive Handgun I class that I attended here in Ohio.

   As a lot of you know, Aaron Cowan is well-known in the firearms industry, and for good reason. Aaron has done the job, had the experiences, and knows “what is what” so-to-speak. Not only are his courses geared toward making you a better shooter, but they also help to hone your mind, and train your thought processes.

   Sage Dynamics classes have a hierarchy of information, Aaron teaches from the most likely to the least likely situation, and Defensive Handgun I starts digging in to the least likely scenarios rather well. Class starts with a basic safety brief, in which, his safety rules are very straight forward and full of common sense, “if it isn’t safe, don’t do it”, and I totally agree.

   The first exercise we do is a basic “zeroing” so to speak, just to find out where your gun is shooting and if you need to make any adjustments to your sights, or to your accuracy in general. Once that is taken care of we start into the course curriculum. Drawing from your carry position, putting multiple shots on target, giving verbal commands and retention position shooting is all covered as a refresher to Defensive Handgun Fundamentals.

   Once we are all refreshed we get into the class hardcore, this is where the real learning happens. During this time, your heart starts pumping, you induce yourself with stress and start to push your limits. We can all stand still, draw and put rounds on target, but can you do that after you get forcefully knocked on your back and put into the fetal position? Can you draw, shoot and reload with only your support hand? You will definitely find out in this class. 

   One of the best things that we covered in the class is the proper use of cover and concealment. Not only shooting behind barricades, but also moving to cover, identifying threats, and utilizing austere shooting positions whilst behind cover. We all know that most shooting situations are probably not going to be static and slow, so training for real world situations can only help you in the end. Drawing, moving to cover, and engaging threats were all part of this exercise and we all really started to learn our failure points.

   The final exercise we did in this course was scenario training. How many of us travel with a buddy, have kids, go shopping with the wife, or are plain and simply around people out in public? We all can answer yes to this, in one way or another. Besides being able to identify a threat or a non-threat target, our final scenario was based off of protection of a third party.

   During this scenario we were forced to arrive at the scene where an 8 year old child is in danger. With the stresses at maximum level and your mind plowing ahead, we had to defend this child in whichever way we deemed appropriate. Needless to say most of us chose a different method than the other. One common factor is we all watched the other person go before us, and we all tried to game it in our head.

   Fortunately, no matter how much you try to plan out the scenario, it never works out, and you end up winging it and doing something completely different than you thought. For instance, my plan was to grab the child (a grown man, pretending to be a child) move him to cover, and whisper sweet nothings in his ear to calm him down, all while protecting him with my body and engaging the threats. Here’s what really happened. My adrenaline kicked in and I ran full speed towards the scenario area, I grabbed the “child” and ended up full force throwing him behind cover, engaging a target then moving behind cover with the child. At this point, I completely barricaded him with my body, pinning him to the ground (I did whisper sweet nothings, but that’s neither here nor there), and ultimately engaging the threats in whichever way was necessary. The scenario ended with me rapidly shooting over ten rounds at the final target, and my partner in pain, because I ended up violently pinning him to the ground with my knee.

   So as you can see, that was a long way of saying, “sh*t got real” and adrenaline does some crazy things, even though it was all fake, which is really one of the biggest take aways from this class. Ultimately, Defensive Handgun I, introduces you to the most common and also the least likely occurrences that can happen in the real world. Aaron not only explains everything thoroughly, but he is also able to put it into a contextual form, that is very digestible to the mind. Everything you learn will stick with you giving you the ability to mentally download and apply it to your next training session as to further hone your skills.

   At the end of each class, we all sit for a debrief, where Aaron goes over any other questions or concerns, tips and tricks and he then passes out the coveted “Red Sage Patch”. Though it is only a $4 piece of PVC, you definitely want to be a winner of one, and for me, it is taken as a high honor. I have actually been lucky enough to receive two of these patches, and I am humbled and honored to have received them. Aaron is not a cocky, “this is how it is” type of instructor. He is modest, personable and quite entertaining to say the least. He is just as apt to learn as we are, and I’m sure each class that he instructs, also teaches him something in the end.

“Train Accordingly” is the motto of Aaron Cowan, and after this class, it rings complete truth.

 

Dave Moore

@idavemoore

www.idavemoore.com

Home Defense and Body Armor

   As many of you know, self defense is a very important thing. Most people, I feel, 

focus on self defense in regards to concealed carry and being out and about, but a 

topic that is often neglected is Home Defense. 

 

   There are many schools of thought on home defense, most involve which firearm 

is the best, what ammo to use, and all of the debates within. Regardless of the 

firearm you choose, there are other things to consider when thinking about home 

defense, such as gear, ammo sources, tactics, and even a family plan for a home 

invasion. 

 

   I mainly use my Glock 22 for home defense for the fact that I am most proficient 

with it, and it is much easier to maneuver when in close quarters. One thing that I 

have been adding into my home defense routine, is armor, specifically, my Condor 

MOPC Plate Carrier with the AR500 Armor ASC Curved plates.  

 

   If you think about it, there is a good chance that your armor, plate carrier, etc. will

be near by in the case of a home invasion or home defense situation. I understand 

that most things happen in an instant and there is a chance that you will not be 

ready, even if your gun is by your bedside. Though, in regards to gear, however, 

there is a much higher probability that you will have easier access to your armor 

when in your home, rather than at a gas station or a local convenience store.

   

   I know that most of you have a plate carrier and armor, and really don't train with 

it. I'm guilty of this myself, but I decided to get armor to fill a specific purpose, 

that purpose is home defense. My thought process is, if I grab my rifle or a long 

gun, for whatever reason, then chances are I will have the opportunity to also grab 

my armor. Being that I am a civilian and have limited funds, I decided to choose 

the AR500 Armor plates instead of a normal SAPI Plate. I read and watched tons of 

reviews before purchasing and I then decided that AR500 was the best choice for 

me. 

   

   As far as my setup goes, I have my rifle and my shotgun nearby at all times, and 

my handgun (my primary self defense tool), is always on me in one form or 

another. I have the Condor MOPC with the Condor Mag Insert and three HSGI 

TACO's (two rifle and one pistol). Ultimately, my carrier has the ability to carry five 

rifle mags and one pistol mag, giving me plenty of ammo for most any civilian 

home defense situation. As I roam around the house, I always have my pistol, so 

that takes care of my first line of defense. If I hear a ruccus or suspect something 

is going to happen (I know this is rare, but bear with me), my plan is to sling my 

armor on, and grab my rifle. As I said, if I am going to grab my rifle then I will most 

certainly grab my armor along with it. 

   

   A home defense plan involving body armor can definitely help your cause, and 

keep you alive in case the shit does hit the fan. Talking to your family and marking 

out a specific course of action is also important. Tell your kids what room to hide 

in, tell your wife what gun she should grab, and know the layout of your house. Is 

there a solid wall or structure in your home that you can use as cover, or is it 

merely concealment? Which hallway gives you the best advantage, in order to 

fight back or escape? Where are your neighbors houses located, just in case a 

stray bullet makes it out into the street? These are all things to think about, and in 

no way is this an exhaustive list. Proper planning and a proper mindset will take 

you a lot further than mere firearms handling skills. 

   

   The moral of the story is, winning a gun fight, means not getting shot and/or 

injured. Remember, the fact that you have body armor does not mean you no 

longer need to train with your firearms, and have a good "tactical" plan in place. 

Armor is merely a piece of kit to add to your Tactical Toolbox in order to help you 

acheive your end goal... survival.