Author: HeloMaster

This article explains and gives examples of why it’s vitally important to learn tactical skills right from the git-go, rather than starting with marksmanship-based, square flat range training and then trying to make a slow fire bullseye shooter into a fighter. We also tell you how to unlearn bad habits, if it’s too late for you to start the right way.

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This article clarifies a misleading statement by the media, discusses the Fleeing Felon doctrine, and ends with some advice for responsibly armed citizens.

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This article explains the whys and wherefores of everyone’s favorite part of the Kalashnikov series: the right side mounted mode-of-fire selector lever.

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Not every human problem has a ballistic solution. But some situations, that don’t, still require some level of force application. Heloderm will teach you how to use your pepper spray, walking stick, expandable baton, Taser, bike lock on a chain, …

Intermediate Force: OC, Batons, and Improvised Weapons (RESCHEDULED) Read More »

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This tribute to my Olympic Arena coach details lessons learned during three 6-month seasons of daily force on force competition, and beyond. It also explains some lesser understood aspects of nuclear deterrence and security, particularly during the second half of the 1980s, the climax of the Cold War.

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Here are definitions of some concepts we teach you about in our classes. Sometimes different trainers use different words to mean the same things; this glossary will hopefully help you clarify some of the “tacticool” words that get bandied about …

Glossary of Gunspeak Read More »

The tragic shooting of 07 May 2019 has several lessons you should learn, paid for in blood. Here are some of them.

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Something like 16 out of 17 times, when an armed citizen draws a gun in self defense, NO shots are fired. But the mere presence of a firearm, without relevant, practical, realistic training, will not ward off evil spirits like some magic talisman. Here are some dos and don’ts of how to tell a crook to go assault someone else.

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Most Americans believe we won the Revolutionary war by sniping at the Redcoats from behind trees and boulders. Not true. We did a lot of that, especially in the opening days of the war, when we were losing. Such so-called …

Baron von Steuben and Well Regulated American Volley Fire Read More »

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Butch Rupert was a an expert marksman, an exemplary shooting coach, and a wise mentor. Here are some things I learned from him.

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John Fox was ALL IN. He gave what little he had, and everything he was ever going to have, to save the lives of his fellow American GIs, and to liberate not only his own people, but all of Europe and the entire world, from the yoke of Nazi fascism.

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Call it what you want. Some call them PDWs, personal defense weapons, after a unique brand of firearms initially considered for downed aircrew survival. Some call them “AR pistols” and “AK pistols.” Those are legal terms for getting around silly …

Firing the Stockless Shortie Read More »

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They Used to be Hard to Get. In the Soviet section of my library, an old wind-up Russian alarm clock and Red Army belt with 5-sided star buckle gather dust on a shelf in front of the books. Both were …

The So-called “Krinks” Read More »

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Most people get guns for “GPs,” general purposes. But, like golf clubs, different guns have different niches in your battle plan. Before you get a gun (or another gun), you should have some idea what you plan to accomplish with …

ASR Rifles and ASR Med Kits Read More »

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These were a good idea long before ammunition became scarce. For those new to defensive pistolcraft, we give you a sound foundation on what goes on in fights, and what the limitations and advantages of firearms are, in solving human …

Private In-home Sessions Read More »

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Ever been issued a rifle or SMG that had a 3-round burst? You were probably told it was there to keep you from spraying and praying. Poppycock. Three-round burst was created to disburse bullets, not to improve accuracy or controllability. …

Burst Fire Misconceptions Read More »

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Nogales, Sonora, Mexico and Nogales, Arizona, USA are connected underground by a series of clandestine tunnels that link with the existing, legitimate stormwater drainage system. Select DEA, HSI, and CBP agents stationed along the Southern borders of California, Arizona, and …

Tunnel Rat: The Shooting Experience Read More »

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“Is George home yet?” It was our friend Ronnie, who was married to one of my fellow agents. It was mid morning. I had gone to work at ten the previous evening, and had not yet come back. But that …

In Praise of Law Enforcement Spouses Read More »

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The Patrol Agent in Charge (PAIC) of my old station had two admin assistants, both named Melissa. To avoid confusion, we got in the habit of referring to one as “Melissa Green Eyes,” and the other as “Melissa Brown Eyes.” …

Melissa Brown Eyes Read More »

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Traditionally, training on improvised explosive devices (IEDs) has focused on how to recognize one, or how to differentiate a “suspicious” package from any other object in your environment. We might discuss how different IEDs are constructed, or what they are …

IEDs: A Different Approach Read More »

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One of the most profound turning points in my education as a rifleman occurred with an Enfield Jungle Carbine, under the tutelage of a Marine I’ll call Ray. Ray is one of my oldest and closest friends. We’d been team …

Ray and the Jungle Carbine Read More »

This article outlines the history of long guns in police service during the past century or so, especially the last 50 years, comparing and contrasting the different types. Although there are some important lessons for the long gun armed citizen throughout, the article concludes with information specifically for rifle armed citizens (or those who are wondering if they ought to be). Originally published in February, 2021, this article was significantly upgraded in September 2021.

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This post outlines the whys and wherefores of various firearms safety handling systems.

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We often hear those in the know referring to ARs as “carbines.” But doesn’t AR stand for Armalite Rifle? What’s the difference? Carbines were originally short rifles issued to cavalry troopers. Troopers generally fought from the saddle with a handgun …

Carbines vs Rifles Read More »

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On Saturday, 28 Nov 2020, Warlizard Tactical and Heloderm LLC hosted an “industry day” at our favorite firing range.  We try to do that periodically, to give our wonderful volunteer range safety officers (RSOs), adjunct instructors, their friends, and family …

Industry Day, 28 Nov 2020 Read More »

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  “Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.” I grew up on Air Force fighter bases.  During my first Thunderbirds airshow, …

Mind the Gas Port Read More »

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What’s the difference, when they matter, when they don’t, and why you must have several in your repertoire. Some of this was written for the training summary of our 10 Oct 2020 Pistol fundamentals class, specifically addressing aspects of grip, …

Grip, Hold, and Stance Read More »

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  On 26 Jan 2008, Officer Jared Reston chased a shoplifting suspect out of the Regency Square Mall in Jacksonville, Florida.  The suspect shot him in the chin with a .45, knocking him down.  Reston said he kept trying to …

Ground Pistol Fighting Read More »

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Choosing a “carry condition” that fits your lifestyle and risk assessment well requires a thorough understanding of your options. What carry condition you chose will affect your safety and level of readiness, as well as how you should train for …

Alert Carry Conditions Read More »

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A travelogue of a very cold trip to Colorado, and some limited testing we did with the Trijicon Ruggedized Miniature Reflex pistol sight under semi-arctic conditions.

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  Not too long ago, in the Walmart parking lot at Speedway and Kolb in Tucson, three gang bangers attempted a carjacking.  This being Arizona, not Massachusetts or California, the owner of the car shot the one who threatened him …

Vehicle Incidents Read More »

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When I was growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, women were mostly part of the scenery in movies and TV shows.  During a violent confrontation, her job was to stand behind the hero and scream.  Men were expected to …

Women Only Pistol Fundamentals clinics Read More »

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This class is offered by our friends at Warlizard Tactical.  The instructors, Joel and Michael G, are former Army, and currently NAEMT certified Tactical Emergency Casualty Care providers. The Level 1 Lifesaver (L1LS) course uses the military MARCH algorithm to …

Level 1 Lifesaver Read More »

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Home invasions became popular in the 1990s.  Now even spree killers are targeting people in their homes; witness the Nova Scotia killer’s arson and shooting rampage. This course is NOT just about Active Shooters.  We will give you unarmed skills …

Violence Avoidance and Survival Read More »

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In this era of hijacked protests turned into riots, the old-fashioned “riot gun” is making a comeback. Many people still use shotguns for the bunkering down phase of home defense. But as the carbine has gained popularity, corporate knowledge of …

Defensive Shotgun Read More »

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DP1A is the first half of our celebrated introduction to FIGHTING WITH HANDGUNS. We will teach you how to keep your pistol when the bad guy tries to take yours away, even if he’s on top of you. You’ll also …

Defensive Pistol Phase I Read More »

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A homeless panhandler’s average annual income is $500,000.00. Not including welfare, disability, handouts from kind people, or “stimulus” checks. Does that mean you should never slip the guy with the cardboard sign a few bucks?  Of course it doesn’t.  Whether …

The Lie: How Much Ammo Do You Need? Read More »

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One way to speed up your response to threatening situations is to reduce doubt.  A great way to do that is to know, beforehand, exactly what the law says about what you can and cannot do. “Everything seemed to be …

May / Can / Should: Lawful Use of Force Read More »

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We all knew there would be yet another run on ammunition.  I just figured it wouldn’t happen until the weeks leading up to the election. Firearms dealers have seen more panic buying since the Clinton administration than the 19th century …

COVID-19 and Practice Ammo Availability Read More »

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During a killing spree in Dallas, Texas, on July 7, 2016, an officer took cover behind a large pillar.  Taking fire from a suspect who ran at him, the officer ducked back behind his cover, which was very effective at …

Myths of Cover Read More »

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Do you need a Concealed Carry Permit?  Is it a good idea to have one? Arizona is a “constitutional carry” state.  You may carry a firearm on your person or in your car without any concealed weapons (“CCW”) permit.  An …

Concealed Carry Permit courses Read More »

The AR series carbine has twice as many manipulations to master as your average pistol, yet most of us spend far more of our time training with our handguns.  Pistols are more likely to be our constant companions, but carbines …

Carbine Fundamentals Read More »

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These clinics are offered by our friends at Warlizard Tactical.  It’s a great way to get more experience and trigger time, and work on your fundamentals, without breaking the bank for tuition or ammo expenditure. This half-day of training costs …

Pistol Fundamentals Clinics Read More »

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There are 3 things you need to do with threats in the dark: 1)  Locate potential threats 2)  Identify whether or not something IS a threat 3)  If so, you need to hit it. Many of us get “night” sights …

Night Pistol Fighting Read More »

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THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES OF CROWD VIOLENCE American news reporters in Japan covering the aftermath of the disastrous March 11, 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami were astounded that there was hardly any looting following the complete breakdown of law enforcement services–even …

Managing Multiple Assailants Read More »

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This class is being presented remotely.  We will show you ways you can practice these skills with your family at home.  We have also added blocks on Home Invasion prevention and survival, as well as domestic violence. Contact us to …

Violence Avoidance and Survival (VAS) via Teleconference Read More »

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“An elegant weapon, of a more civilized age.” Join us for a clinic on revolver tips and tricks. Revolvers have put plenty of bad guys in the ground.  The wheel gun is still quite capable–IF you are trained to use …

Lost Art of the Revolver Read More »

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Dynamics of Movement in Interpersonal Confrontation A class for intermediate level defensive shooters Ever wonder why law enforcement officers have a 99% hit rate during qualifications, but only a 20% hit rate in violent confrontations?  There are many reasons, but …

Running & Gunning Read More »

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