Hump Day Camels

It’s the first of March and the Reading List is coming in like a lion! Today you’ll learn about squib loads and how to identify them; how to deal with the HK VP9 magazine release lever; how to prioritize your skills and preparations; the medical skills you need to know to deal with life-threatening trauma; how to unload a pistol for beginners; another cautionary tale about when NOT to use your gun; and how crooks can gain access to your data even if your password remains secure.


Would you know the difference?

From time to time I’m asked about the tap-rack malfunction remediation for the pistol. The question usually goes “isn’t that a bad idea if you have a squib load?” The insinuation being, of course, that we should never tap-rack but instead stop and carefully examine the barrel at any malfunction. The reality of the matter is that a malfunction during a defensive incident is an emergency which must be fixed immediately. On the range we train the skill so that it can be done automatically. Still, the question of the squib remains: what if? This article talks about one fellow’s experience with a squib load, and he points out that he was able to identify it as an “abnormal” malfunction because he was familiar with his gun. The key to knowing the difference is to practice enough so that you understand intuitively what a malfunction (and what an empty gun) feels like so you can fix the issue without needing to think about it. When you get something out of the ordinary, like a squib, your experience should be enough to tell you “stop and figure out what went wrong.” Practice!


The infamous HK magazine release lever

John Farnam wrote this article about his recommendation for dealing with the magazine release on HK pistols, most notably the VP9. I agree with him on the dangers of using the trigger finger to drop the magazine, but I’ve found using the shooting hand thumb really isn’t ideal unless you have abnormally long thumbs. What I teach HK owners of normal physiology is to index the trigger finger on the frame, as you would in a ready position, and use the middle finger to operate the lever. The chances of triggering a round are greatly reduced, and you won’t need to drastically twist your hand around the grip to reach the release with your thumb.


Deciding what to do first

Prioritizing your needs and skills is an important part of the self defense planning process. In this PDN video, Rob Pincus shares his ideas on how to do just that.


Medical skills you need to know

Caleb at Prepared Gun Owners recently wrote a pretty good article about the idea of “Tactical Combat Casualty Care”. I hate those military terms when used in the civilian world, but it definitely separates the kind of knowledge I believe you need from the stuff typically taught in most first aid courses! The article tells you the skills you need to know, why you need to know them, and the gear you need to acquire to put your knowledge to use when you need to. Good information that is far more likely to save a life than the gun you carry!


The proper way to unload a pistol

I suspect most of my readers already know how to unload a semiautomatic pistol, but not everyone does. I’ve seen all kinds of gyrations at the range as people try to figure out how to make sure their pistol is unloaded, and that tells me people need some solid training. So, for those of you who may be new to firearms, and for those who aren’t but might need this information to share with a friend or family member who is, I give you this simple, well-illustrated article.


Waitress shoots at robbers, gets fired. What’s this world coming to?

I apologize for the clickbait, but this is important enough to warrant it. A waitress at a Waffle House in Georgia witnessed three men rob her restaurant. They got what they wanted from the cash register and headed out the door to their car. This waitress followed them out, went to her own car and retrieved her gun, and then fired a shot into the air to scare the robbers off. Regular readers will already see all the issues here, but let’s go over them again: deadly force (your firearm) is only to be used to defend yourself or other innocents from an immediate threat to your life. The question of whether the robbers were such a threat while in the restaurant is up for debate, but once the crime was finished and they left there was no threat to anyone. By pursuing the crooks she initiated a new incident, one where she was the aggressor. What’s more, she fired a “warning shot” into the air and placed everyone in the vicinity in danger from the bullet. This is someone who didn’t understand what her gun was for or what she was legally and ethically allowed to do. She’s lucky she was only fired; in many jurisdictions she’d be charged with a crime, and rightfully so. Don’t be like her!


Crooks don’t need to break your password. All they need is the gift of gab.

It’s tempting to believe that a strong password is enough to secure your precious data, but that’s not true. A dedicated thief can get into your accounts with a surprisingly small amount of information and a little persuasion. This article from Forbes explains how its done and how to prevent it. Definitely important reading!

– Grant

P.S.: Have you gotten your copy of my new book Protect Yourself With Your Snubnose Revolver yet? The reviews are in and they’re terrific! It’s available now in Kindle, iBooks, and paperback versions.

Opening photo by Backpacker – (CC0 public domain)


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