30+ years of training has taught us... the shooting environment is totally critical to what you absorb and retain in regards to "firearms instruction"

I always wanted to learn how to shoot, do you have a card?

“….well, I’m sure I could use it if I need it.”

Inevitably during the course of casual conversation when a new acquaintance discovers I am a handgun instructor, the conversation takes one of two turns. The first response is “I always wanted to learn how to shoot, do you have a card?” But the second turn “Well, I’m sure I could use it if I needed it.” surprises me still.

As consumers we learn to believe in the superiority of new technology, and the handgun industry has always dazzled with new models, calibers, and accessories. But overlooking the necessity of training as a central factor in self-defense and responsible handgun ownership is a fact I see everyday. Keeping a handgun for self defense without training is as effective as keeping an Apache attack helicopter for the same purpose. If you choose a handgun as a factor in your self defense plan, you must be trained because the circumstance where it may be used is likely to be sudden, poorly-lit, and violent. In these encounters people do not rise to the occasion, but fall to the level of their training.

Fortunately for many, once I ask if they also have an Apache attack helicopter and explain why, they ask for a card and they sign up for classes.

Be Safe –

David Silva

Who buy Handguns?

I have been working at Calelas’ for about a month or so and I have a few observations. I see of course a lot of handgun sales, but a huge quantity of M4(AR15 variants) sales. I would say easily 90% of the buyers are first time gun purchasers. On a slow day we sell 30-40 guns, on a big day like Saturday we sell up to 500 guns. Again the purchasers are new buyers. Just an observation on my part. No huge ammo sales and they buy very few extra items to go with the gun.

Steve Milam

Well, summer is gone and it is time to break out the shotguns.

Whether you are into Sporting Clays, Skeet, 5 Stand, trap or hunting now is the time to get ready. Clean that shotgun inside and out, check which choke you are using and most of all only buy premium ammunition for Sporting Shotgun and hunting. If you have had trouble being consistent with a shotgun, join the club. It is definitely the most dynamic of all the shooting sports.

Most people miss behind the bird (about 90% of the misses are behind); the reasons are the shotgun might not be mounted firmly against the cheek; the fit of the shotgun might be very poor. But most reasons we miss is because we look directly at the whole bird and not the leading edge. The bird is moving, you are moving the shotgun is moving and the shot-string you just fired is also moving. How do we make all of that come together? It is not that tough, if you get some professional assistance. Most Americans go to the store, buy a shotgun, grab a box of shells and go hunting. It is as important as any other intense undertaking, few are experts from the beginning, and we must learn how to make it all come together out in the field. Success is always more rewarding than a day of struggling and frustration.

Steve Milam

Ball-and-Dummy Drill

Texas Pistol and Rifle Academy
Stoney’s blog 09/26/2011

One of the biggest problems that I see most shooters face is “jerking the trigger.”  Inevitably, every shooter that I have ever worked with has faced this problem at some point in their shooting career. Usually, this problem occurs early on with a new shooter but, if you haven’t been to the range for a while, this problem can happen even to the best of us. If you are looking for a drill to specifically address this problem, try the “ball-and-dummy” Drill.

Here are the specifics:

Teaches: flinch control and follow through during live fire.
Requires: 1 dummy round and works best with shooting partner, but can be done alone.

Principle: If the hammer falls on an empty chamber during slow-fire shooting, your gun shouldn’t “flinch” or “move” when the trigger is depressed. The sights should stay aligned and on target, and the eye still clearly focused on the front sight.

If the gun does dip (flinch or jump), you’re anticipating the recoil.

Procedure: Have your shooting partner load your magazine for you, mixing live rounds with dummy rounds, or for a revolver, leave one or more chambers empty.  Have your partner take up a position behind you to watch and coach you. Take aim on the target and attempt to fire the weapon. When you fire the gun, concentrate on keeping the gun steady, sights on target, no matter what happens. When the trigger is engaged on the dummy round or empty chamber, you and your partner will visually see if you flinched or jerked the trigger in anticipation of the gun firing.

The gun won’t budge or flinch if you are doing the drill correctly. If you’re not doing well, keep up with the drill until you are. Keep your sights aligned and on target while you release the trigger just enough to reengage the sear.

If you do not have a shooting partner, you can do this yourself by loading several magazines and mixing them up, or loading a magazine with your eyes closed, or rotating the cylinder with your eyes shut before closing it.

Also known as: cap-and-ball drill, dummy round drill.

“Shooting makes better people, period.”

Phil Stone
Tactical Instructor
Texas Pistol and Rifle Academy

You practice like you race!

I have been racing motorcycles for several years now, it has become a passion of mine. Long before I ever got onto a bike i was shooting a gun. As a matter of fact i think i had the gun even before i got the rattler as a baby. I have drawn alot of similarities between racing and shooting. I want to share some of those similarities i have found and illustrate how i believe there are important to us as shooters to always “practice like we race”.

When i first arrive at the track the first thing that must be done is getting the bike and the gear unloaded and outlined to make sure all the the important things are present. Then the bike is gone over top to bottom. Nuts and bolts are checked to make sure they are secure, safety wiring is done to pass tech inspection, tire pressures are checked and rechecked. There are many redundancies that occur on the morning and usually for myself it is all i can do to force myself to do these things because all i really want to be doing is ripping down the track. I remember however the price that might be paid if i was to miss anything in my preparation. I enter into turn 8 at my home track at well over 140 mph. If anything was to go wrong with my bike or my gear it could be unforgiving to me. So as you can imagine. I make a 100 percent sure everything is in order because at the end of the day it will not be my mechanics butt sliding and tumbling down the track, it will be mine.

Once everything is prepped and ready to go then comes the fun part… getting out there and letting her rip, boys let me tell you i do… there are few who will go out there and push harder in practice than i do. I learned this long ago in me early days of shooting. Theres no such thing as practicing at 50% and then racing at a 100%. It simply doesn’t work that way. We must always practice like we race. The same holds true for our shooters……

At Texas Pistol and Rifle academy, no matter which division you may be training with us under, sporting or tactical division we believe in “Practicing like we race”. This starts off with gear prep. No shooter can be successful without the proper gear. Whether your doing our Tactical Pistol Series, Long gun Series or Fighting Carbine series, we will make sure first that you have the proper gear components to be successful before you ever step onto the range.

Once you are on the range were going to push you like your life depends on it. Our training goals are simple. To prepare you to a point to that when “Race Day” comes whether that be out in plains of Wyoming and your getting ready to drop that big elk at 500 plus yards or in your home at 3 in the morning when someone comes in the door and the race of life starts, who’s going to live and who isn’t, we want you prepared to a point where you have gone so hard in “practice” that the race or ” real life situation” is not nearly as daunting as it would have been if you had not done the preparation that is needed to be a winner no matter what situation you may be faced with.

In the end we all are creatures of habit. When you come to us will make sure we instill habits that will allow you to get the job done and be a success. Whether that’s out in the hunting fields or along the Texas boarder or in the comfort of your home. Were going to make sure that ” YOU PRACTICE LIKE YOU RACE”

Josh Duhon
Class Coordinator

Stoney’s Blog: What type of holster should I use for my pistol?

Question: What type of holster should I use for my pistol? Do you have one that you’d recommend for my Glock 17?

Good question! Just recently, I purchased and tested the 5.11 / Blade-Tech Revolution holster for my Glock and I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars. The Blade-Tech Revolution holster is an inexpensive holster made for a variety of handguns. The holster comes with 2 types of belt attachments so that you can use it as a belt holster or as a paddle. If you want to use the attachment to use as a belt holster, the attachment can be configured to fit a variety of belt sizes… even a duty belt. And it’s fairly simple to switch out the belt attachment to the paddle style by simply removing 2 Phillip’s head screws and then replacing the belt with the paddle.

The holster is made from polymer, is light-weight and comfortable, yet sturdy and durable. The holster is also very affordable. I picked up mine for under $25.00 and I’m sure you can find it on sale for at or around this price.

As for its ease of use, when you holster your weapon, there is a distinct audible click when the pistol is fully inserted providing the handler with a good sense that the pistol is fully seeded. The retention on the holster can be adjusted to either loosen or tighten the pistol very easily just by tightening 2 of the screws found along the side.

If there is 1 drawback, the holster is great for the range but it doesn’t particularly conceal that well, which is why I’d only give it 4 out of 5 stars.

For the price, I give this holster a thumbs-up! I’ve used this on the range to conduct several tactical pistol drills and I’ve added this to my kit for tactical shooting with the M4 as well. The holster is available for many types of pistols, such as the Sig p-220 and Springfield XD-9, so be sure to order the correct variation.

“Shooting makes better people, period.”

Phil Stone

Tactical Instructor

Texas Pistol and Rifle Academy