The ‘Heat’ Course of Fire

In the pantheon of Heist movies, it does not get any better than Michael Mann’s 1995’s Heat.

(Yes it stars that lib-tard crybaby Robert De Niro but it also starred Al Pacino, Val Kilmer and Tom Sizemore, so it evens itself out.)

Michael Mann’s movies are known for intense firearm realism, not only in their manual of arms but also in the tactics used. This can be seen in the gun battle after the Bank Robbery in Heat which was choreographed by an ex-SAS Commando.

You can also see some nifty training and tactics in Thief (1981), Collateral (2004) and Miami Vice (2006) to name a few.

Anyways, the guys over at Forgotten Weapons decided to make the shootout in Heat into a Course of Fire, complete with the heavy bags of “money”. ūü§†

Fun Watch!


Understanding Mechanical Offset: Skills, Drills & Solutions


Understanding Mechanical Offset: Skill Drills & Solutions


I have been rehashing some old rifle drills and this one came up.

A VERY important skill-set to review, know and practice for those times when you may have to grab a rifle for home defense or CQ fighting.

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!


Tactical Tourist Need Not Apply

I had a guy email me recently asking me:

“Is it really that bad that we need to own all these weapons and train to protect ourselves every weekend? Our parents did not do this stuff, why are we? Are we getting duped into thinking that this TERRIBLE EVENT everybody is talking about is going to happen to us at any minute, so we better be ready and spend our hard earned money on training and weapons that could be going into an IRA or our Kid’s vacation fund?”

It was an intriguing question, I must admit.  It was intriguing to me personally because honestly, I had never thought about it.

It had always been my lifestyle to train.

Yeah at first like most folks it was a hobby, then pretty quickly it became a way of life; and therein my friends lies the rub. The key to really understanding the mentality behind this amazing sub-culture of “tactically minded civilians” is understanding it’s their LIFESTYLE!

You see if it is anything else but a lifestyle, lazy human nature will eventually kick in and suddenly the drive and fortitude to continue will dry up. Your training will become intermittent and worthless and eventually you will become that lowest form of animal, the basest of all creatures; the “tactical tourist.” This person is a member of every tactical or prepper forum out there and is never short on opinions on how to be the deadliest form of mall ninja imaginable.

He is one of those guys that likes to argue why one instructor is better than another or why one instructor’s platform is superior to another. Blah, blah blah. He may have started down the right path, the path to becoming a prepared and dare I say “Dangerous” civilian, but somewhere along the line he slipped off and started following a trail very similar, a trail that petted his ego and made him feel good about himself, but in the end he was no more prepared than when he started and the only thing scary about him is his bank account. It’s a sad but common story.

OK, so you know when you make a statement like this there is one finger pointing at you and three back at me, right?

The solution is quite simple.

You have to STOP talking and START Training.

YOU (not somebody else) have to develop goals of what you want to learn and accomplish and find QUALITY people with solid backgrounds to teach and help you and GET TO WORK!

Compare the time you spend arguing/jawing about a topic or trainer and the time you actually spend TRAINING on that topic.

You will often find the results woefully out of balance.

Get off the inter-web and get out of the tactical training”cult of personality” circus. When I first started, I had no ideal of what I needed to learn, so I learned a little of everything. Modern technique, point shooting, krav-maga, sambo, filipino knife, combative knife, systema, tomahawk fighting, how to pick a lock, how to bypass a siphon block, etc. And as time went on, I tailored and developed COURSES OF FIRE for each weapon system I owned.

Remember: Your skill sets need to be all encompassing, not just WEAPON oriented, but FIGHT oriented.

Your dry to live fire ratio should be like 70/30.

Dry fire is something that can be done practically anywhere so do it!

Your drills should change frequently.“Never get stale or satisfied” was a motto I once read on a gym wall, and I try to apply that to all areas of my life.

Adapt your training to what your enemy is doing. For example, in the military, if VBIEDS (Vehicle Born IED’s) are on the rise, then “How to Assault/Stop/Disable a moving or static vehicle” becomes priority on the training calendar. As civilians we need to do the same. If Active Shooter or Home Invasions are on the rise, we need to hit that head on with SITUATIONAL Force on Force drills.

Lastly, and this is a big one lately. Let’s all stop the useless jabbering about what MIGHT happen in the world and start training to deal with the worst possible case scenario.

From a practical standpoint this is a much better use of our time and resources. Do you honestly think that our enemies are wasting time jabbering about the POSSIBILITIES of what will happen in the future or are they just training to kill us in the most efficient way possible?

The gauntlet has been laid down and TIME is short.

The life you save could be your own So TRAIN Hard, Realistically and Often!

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous.


Training for a Gunfight: Military Analysis of 133 Gunfights


Solid Information for the 21st Century Armed Citizen.

We need to be constantly evaluating our firearm training to ensure it is RELEVANT, PRACTICAL and EFFICIENT!

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!


Let’s Talk AK Ammo for Self-Defense

From the Archives, 2015


I get asked a TON of questions about ammo, with the most popular question being:

“What is the best TYPE of ammo to use in an AK for self-defense?” My general response is typically “Whatever you have loaded at the time is fine, the perp won’t being filling out a ballistic critique sheet at the end of the crime or nothing…”

It has been my experience that most people over think things like ammo and gear in general when it comes to self-defense. I mean that whole “Software before Hardware” thing does have meaning! And yeah, it MAY sound like a smart ass thing to say, but yes, in fact, ANY ammo that goes BOOM and not CLICK when you pull the trigger will most likely work and do the job.

I mean lets be real, you are using an AK-47 Rifle here to defend yourself! Not exactly a mouse fart gun! But, since you tuned in to this post to read something educational, (I hope), here it goes.

This, by the way, is in no way a complete list of ammo types that are out there, just the broad strokes to give you an ideal.

Ammo Types

FMJ or Full Metal Jacket: A full metal jacket is a bullet consisting of a soft core encased in a shell of harder metal, such as gilding metal, cupronickel or less commonly a steel alloy. An FMJ bullet is encased only on the front and sides, leaving the bottom as bare lead. This is your standard military issue round. Used mostly in target shooting in the civilian world. Quite simply, this is one hunk of lead that is designed to simply penetrate and not expand.

HP or Hollow Point:  A hollow-point bullet is an expanding bullet that has a pit or hollowed out shape in its tip often intended to cause the bullet to expand upon entering a target in order to decrease penetration and disrupt more tissue as it travels through the target. Used primarily by Law Enforcement and civilians for self-defense. There is also JHP or Jacketed Hollow Point where the jacket, which is sometimes bonded to the core metal to prevent separation of the two metals, helps control expansion and helps prevent the lead core from disintegrating on impact.

SP or Soft Point:  A soft point bullet is a jacketed bullet with a soft lead core, which has some of the lead exposed at the front end of the bullet. Soft point bullets may be round nose, flat point, or pointed. Soft points are used extensively in hunting loads, as they provide steady, controlled expansion and with proper shot placement, a clean kill of the animal. There are also BCSP or Bonded Core Soft Point. Bonded or Bonded Core is a bullet in which the lead core is soldered or chemically bonded to the copper alloy jacket.

FR or Frangible: A Bullet designed to disintegrate on impact with a soft or hard target, thus virtually eliminating the possibility of over-penetration. Used mostly by Law Enforcement in confined spaces, like with SWAT entries into houses.


OK, so now you know all the types, let’s talk what is best for the AK Rifle¬†for defense purposes.¬†First, and foremost, forgetting ballistics and penetration and co-efficient data for a moment, let’s talk what matters most in a self-defense weapon: RELIABILITY.

If the gun does not go bang when it is supposed too, or does not feed reliably, what good is it? And yes, generally there is not a more reliable assault rifle in the world than the AK-47, but why is that? Having worked and used the AK for some time, I can narrow that answer down to three things:

  • Loose Tolerances

  • Beefy Bolt

  • Mag Design

The AK has been called the “Fire Breathing Sewing Machine” and to see one in action, that description is spot on. Watch an AK feed a round again and again and you will see that big, beefy bolt extract and feed rounds without fail…provided the round feeds SMOOTHLY. When the weapon was designed some 65+ years ago it was designed around the FMJ military ammo type, which because of its sharp nose cone, feeds like a champ up the feed ramp. Now if you peruse some AK forums or web sites, you will see reports of different ammo types, like HP and SP causing feeding problems, because either the space in the Hollow Point bullet or the soft lead in the Soft Point bullet “catches” the edges of either the feed ramp or barrel. I can also tell you that over time, soft point ammo carried in AK mags can get deformed and cause FTF (Fail to feed) or FTE (Fail to eject) issues. I have also had on occasion, the dreaded “double feed” with soft point ammo. But to be fair, I have had FAR more feeding issues with SP than HP in AK rifles.

Furthermore, FMJ is generally more accurate at standard AK engagement distances (under 300 to 400 yards) than HP or SP due to the aerodynamic nose design. FMJ will also penetrate most soft body armor. SP will as well, but FMJ carries a slight advantage in penetration as SP does with energy dump. Bonded soft point also performs much better (penetration wise) against HARD TARGETS, such as automobiles, as the entire bullet stays together, dumping more foot pounds of energy per square inch than standard milsurp FMJ.

So, where does that leave us? Well, if you want to fight (or defend yourself) with the AK weapon system as it was intended, and use that “fire-breathing sewing machine” to rain down hell and brimstone on your enemies, shoot what the weapon was designed to shoot and improve your odds dramatically that you will have little to no feeding issues and shoot FMJ. That is not to say that you could not load up a few rounds of good BCSP to hunt a hog or deer if the need arose, but that is an entirely different ball of wax!

And for those of you out there that are into penetration stats for certain types of ammo or just generally like to shoot shit to see it explode, pay a visit to “Old Painless'” site,¬†The Box O’Truth for the straight dope on penetration testing.

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!