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


The Importance of Iron Sights

   As many of you know, there are a myriad of rifle sights out there, ranging from flip up, back up, angled, and front post style fixed sights. Each of us have our own preferences, and some of us are curious as to what is the best option to choose. In short, your rifle must have some style of iron sights... even if your main focus is on your optic, iron sights are definitely a must. 

   Think about it, you have your red dot mounted to your rifle, it looks good, it feels good, and it allows you very fast target acquisition with little effort. Training consists of using that red dot exclusively... then boom, your battery dies and your optic is rendered useless, and now only acts as a clear tube to look through. What do you do now? Well the best answer is, you flip up your iron sights and have at it with hardly any delay. 

   That brings me to the main point of this article... the importance of back up sights. Iron sights give you an alternate means of aiming (obviously), and they should be the starting point of your rifle accessories. Iron sights require no power source, and they will always work, even in the harshest of conditions. 

   There are several types of iron sights on the market and many of them are equally good choices. There are the flip up style sights, which fold out of the way when not is use and act as a back up to your primary optic. There are fixed iron sights, that are always up and can tend to get in the way of your optic, being that you can see the reticle and the iron sights at the same time. Recently though, there is a new style of sight that has come about. Well, its been around for a while but has just recently received my attention. This sight is the 45 degree angle sight. 

   The 45 degree angle sight, sits at an angle to your normal focal plane. They are out of the way of your primary optic and allow you a very fast transition from your optic to iron sights, as it only takes a short cant of the rifle to acquire these sights. There is no need to flip up the sights, and there is no worry that they are in the way of your optic. 

   I bring these sights up because I have been a big supporter of the Magpul MBUS sights, but there is a new product that has come to light. This product is the WM Tactical TUOR Iron Sights. This product is a normal fixed iron sight, but it gives you the ability to cant them at a 45 degree tilt in either the right or left-handed configuration, which for me, is very important, being that I am a lefty myself. If you do not run an optic on your rifle, then no worries, you can just have the sights up in the normal configuration. If however, you do run an optic, then just tilt the sights to the direction of your choosing and now you have an awesome set of angled iron sights that are out of the way of your optic. 

   This style of sight isn't for everyone, and each person should choose their rifle accessories based on what works for them, but these are an awesome alternative to other products of the like. They give you ambidextrous options, that other 45 degree sights don't offer, which if you run your guns like me, is very important. 

   In reality, it doesn't matter which type of iron sights you choose, my main concern is that you do however have some type of back up iron sights. Technology has become very advanced, and most of us like to take advantage of it and use the best optics available to us. The fact of the matter is, no matter how advanced technology is, it will always have the ability to fail. Sometimes analog is the better option of digital, at least in the aspect of rifle sights, they will always work, they will always be there for you, and they will always keep you in check with the fundamentals, which is one of the most important things when training with your firearms. 

Dave Moore


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