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Triangle Tactical Podcast - Competitive Shooting, Mostly

Updated 3 days ago

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Wilderness
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Competitive shooting, mostly. Some concealed carry and gun rights stuff mixed in too. Most of all, I try not to take myself too seriously.

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Competitive shooting, mostly. Some concealed carry and gun rights stuff mixed in too. Most of all, I try not to take myself too seriously.

iTunes Ratings

213 Ratings
Average Ratings
198
6
1
4
4

Hola a rendir

By ufygefrc - Jun 29 2019
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M

Team Bukakke Shooter

By Team Bukakke Shooter - Mar 11 2018
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Thank you so much for taking the time to share your journey, keep up the good work.

iTunes Ratings

213 Ratings
Average Ratings
198
6
1
4
4

Hola a rendir

By ufygefrc - Jun 29 2019
Read more
M

Team Bukakke Shooter

By Team Bukakke Shooter - Mar 11 2018
Read more
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your journey, keep up the good work.
Cover image of Triangle Tactical Podcast - Competitive Shooting, Mostly

Triangle Tactical Podcast - Competitive Shooting, Mostly

Latest release on Oct 22, 2018

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 3 days ago

Rank #1: Guns and Booze - 142

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GUNS AND BOOZE – 142

This week we have a discussion about guns and booze. Last week sometime I posted this picture on the Triangle Tactical Facebook page, and there was an interesting discussion that took place. Some folks said that the guy should have his permit taken away and be locked up since it looks like he has a tall boy in front of him. Other folks made the point that only one drink isn’t really enough to impair someone, so maybe total abstinence from alcohol isn’t the right approach.

In this episode we don’t really have any answers, but we did our best to bring up all of the aspects of the discussion. Let us know what you think.

Housekeeping

If you have a regular dryfire routine, you should probably build a dryfire target stand or two.Check out the blog post about them I did here.

Gear that Doesn’t Suck

Amazon has the Pocket Pro II shot timer (currently) at the lowest price it’s been at a long time. It’s the timer I like to be handed when I’m being the Range Officer at a match, and it’s the timer that Ben personally owns. Ben explains in the episode why he’s been using his for dryfire instead of the Android dryfire timer he’s been developing (and explains why you shouldn’t hold your breath for the app.)

The News

There are some new Glock pistols out. They’re gray, and from the pictures I’ve seen they’re just barely different from the black Glocks.

Maine gained permitless concealed carry this week.

An NC man was arrested for having a gun in New Jersey. That sucks, I hope he is able to get pre-trial intervention. Please, check the local laws before you head out of state with your blaster.

A piece of news hit some of the sensationalist blogs and forums this last week saying that the Denver, CO Fire Department had banned people from having more than 10,000 rounds of ammo in a residential building after some closed door meeting. I did some research, and as far as I can tell, they’ve had the building code in place since they adopted their current building code some years ago, they just changed the verbiage in the latest version.

Dryfire Drill of the Week

I’ve been playing around with the dryfire target stand, and came up with a simple drill that I’ve been having a lot of fun with.

Start on the X at the 10y line. T1 is 5y in front of you. T2 is a pepper popper at 10y, and T3 is a pepper popper 90* to your left.

On the buzzer engage T1, then T2, then T3. I’ve found this to be an interesting exercise in changing speeds and transitioning to a small target.

Jul 13 2015

1hr 2mins

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Rank #2: USPSA Production National Champion Ben Stoeger - 127

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This week we had a chance to meet up with USPSA Grand Master and current Production National Champion Ben Stoeger. We talk a lot about how he got into shooting, robocop, Mel Gibson, mullets, and goons.

Contact:

- luke@triangletactical.net

- ben@triangletactical.net

- (919) 295-6128

Mar 30 2015

59mins

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Rank #3: Competing in the Long Term - 137

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This week, we catch up with Bob (formerly known as "the new shooter"). We first talked to Bob back on Episode 30 after he'd just shot his first match, caught up with him six months later on Episode 54 to talk about progressing as a competitor. Most recently, we brought him in to help us with Episode 100, our PPQ vs VP9 shootout.

Today, he's back to talk about shooting competition even if you don't practice all the time like Ben and Luke. He has some thoughts about fitting competition in to life with family and other time commitments. He also talks level of participation, current level of skill, and how to enjoy shoot matches even if you're not planning to try and make Master class.

The NewsThe main news story this week is Oklahoma passing a bill to allow authorized staff in K-12 schools to carry concealed at school. It still requires extra training and may not be adopted by all schools or school districts, but it's an excellent move forward for good guys with guns to stop bad guys with guns, especially protecting our children.

Tip of the WeekDon't forget to take yourself in to account in your evaluation of gear. Sometimes, especially for older shooters, it's important to make sure your gun, holster, sights, trigger, grip, and everything else still work for you over time. Whether you're getting smarter by learning better techniques or older with achy joints, it's always worth it to pull the carry gun out and dry fire every once in a while.

Jun 08 2015

1hr 2mins

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Rank #4: HK VP9 vs. Walther PPQ - 100

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For Episode 100 we decided to do something a little special: We got our paws on an HK VP9 and a Walther PPQ and took them to the range to shoot side by side with Bob who's been on the podcast in Episodes 30 and 54. We shot about 300 rounds between the two pistols, rotating shooters, and doing our best to find out where the weak points are on both of them. The two pistols are surprisingly similar, both being polymer 9mm service pistols close in size to the Glock 19. Both the VP9 and PPQ hold 15 rounds on 9mm in the magazine, and aesthetically they look very close.

The full review on the HK VP9 vs. Walther PPQ can be found on the blog.

Sep 22 2014

1hr 1min

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Rank #5: Where to Start in Competitive Shooting - 120

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We received a question from a listener about where to start in competitive shooting, and what the differences between IDPA and USPSA were. For beginners, looking to shoot their very first match, Ben and I agree IDPA is generally the best place to get your feet wet. Ben breaks it down into three areas:

  1. IDPA requires less stuff to get started. All you need is a pistol, holster, and a mag pouch, and you’re good to go for a bit.

  2. IDPA stages are shorter, and they give you a plan to follow (start here, shoot these targets in this order, etc).

  3. IDPA is more forgiving of less perfect gear. Plenty of folks own something like a S&W Shield that they carry, and that pistol is just fine in IDPA, but I wouldn’t recommend it for USPSA.

The News:
  • Para is “going out of business”. They aren’t really, Remington is just killing the brand when they move everything over to the big super-plant in Alabama. Sounds like you’ll still be able to get your favorite pistols, they’ll just say Remington on the side instead of Para.

  • IDPA sent an email to their membership last week that clarified a lot of the decisions that they made in the new rulebook. Most notably, they had DM and M level shooters shoot the classifier on the same day with SSP and CCP firearms, and found that classifier times with CCP sized guns were 7-24% slower than with SSP sized guns.

Contact
  • luke@triangletactical.net

  • ben@triangletactical.net

  • (919) 295-6128

Feb 09 2015

1hr 5mins

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Rank #6: The Urban Carry Holster - 163

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You've probably seen the videos online for the Urban Carry holster. It's the little pouch holster that you put your gun in, and then it all drops inside your pants. When it's time to draw the pistol, you undo a little magnetic flap with your weak hand, and pull up, which pulls the pistol up where you can grab it with your strong hand.

Ben was really interested in one of these, so we ordered up one for his Springfield XDs that he's been reviewing for about a month now.

### Pros:It's the most comfortable holster he's ever used, hands down.

It's also well made. The leather seems to be of good quality, the stitching is nice, and and it's stamped with the Urban Carry logo on the back.

Cons:

Three cons with the Urban Carry that Ben found:

    • Something about the holster and XDs combination in the Appendix position worn on a guy makes Ben (and me when I tried the holster) look like you're... happy to see everyone.

Ben is that an Urban Carry or are you glad to see me? It's just an Urban Carry. #bonerholster #underreview

A photo posted by TriangleTactical.net (@triangletactical) on Dec 5, 2015 at 12:44pm PST

  • The next issue that the Urban Carry holster has a little pouch sewn onto the back of the holster that's supposed to be for carrying your concealed carry permit in. This is a terrible idea. Invision this scenario: "Yes officer, I have a permit for my gun, it's right here" and then reaches for the gun without even thinking about it. At best, you'll make the police officer really nervous, and worst, who knows.
  • The last issue Ben had with the holster was that sometimes on the draw stroke, the butt of the pistol would get stuck under his belt, and then when he would try to draw the pistol by pulling up on the flap it wouldn't come up. This would require him to then stick a thumb down under his belt to release the tension, and then he could draw the pistol. Is it a deal breaker for a deep cover holster? That's up to you, but it can definitely slow down the draw unexpectedly.
Final word on the Urban Carry holster:

Ben think's it sits on the spectrum of carry somewhere between his INCOG, and off body carry. It's not super fast and reliable, but it's better than having your gun in a bag that may or may not be near you.

The News:

No big articles this week, but we talk over the narrative that's being pushed by the media (and the President) that we need to keep people who are on the terrorist watch list from buying guns. There's a big problem with this: There is no due process for someone to get put on the terrorist watch list, so if getting put on the list then denies them a constitutionally protected right, that's a problem.

 
Plug of the Week:

Are you a Redditor? If so, you should be checking out Ben's Monday Morning Match Recap threads on the r/CompetitionShooting subreddit. The subreddit is pretty great in and of itself, but Ben's Monday morning thread is something I check out every Monday. Check it out.

Contact
  • luke@triangletactical.net
  • ben@triangletactical.net

Dec 07 2015

44mins

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Rank #7: Marty Wood - NC USPSA Section Coordinator

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This week on the podcast I interviewed Marty Wood, the new NC USPSA Section Coordinator. We talked about everything from the future of USPSA in North Carolina, to announcing the date and location of the 2018 NC Sectional match. 

I wanted to say a special thanks to Marty for driving to Raleigh to meet with me to talk about all of this, and I'm really excited about seeing what happens with him at the wheel as the section coordinator of NC USPSA.

If you want to get ahold of Marty, his email address is uspsarm@gmail.com, or you can contact him through the NC Section website at www.ncsection.org.

Dec 18 2017

47mins

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Rank #8: How Travis Beal Got Good at Shooting

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This week I had a local Production Master Travis Beal come on the podcast. Travis and I used to be close to the same level, and then all the sudden he rocketed past me and started really killing it as a shooter. As it stands now, he's going to become a Grand Master any time, and it's all because of the change of mindset he had after getting disqualified at a major match.

Apr 16 2018

30mins

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Rank #9: 3 Pillars of Competitive Shooting - 111

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If your goal is to become a better shooter, competitive shooting has 3 “pillars” that are advantages over just shooting at the square range:

  1. Schedule: The match starts when it starts, so you can’t just decide to go to the range later, or tomorrow, or whenever. It forces you to commit to shooting the match when it’s happening.
  2. Scoring: Competitive shooting gives you a quantifiable means to judge things like gear, technique, etc. Shot timers don’t work very well on the shooting line at a public range with lots of other people shooting, and you don’t get the opportunity to shoot from different positions, or scenarios drawn up by other people.
  3. Exposure: When shooting a match, you’ll be exposed to the best shooters in your area, maybe even some of the best shooters in the world (especially if you’re in the Triangle area) so you can see techniques, and really get a feel for just how those folks do things. You might learn a thing or two…
The News

Legislation introduced in Ohio would allow for Active Duty military personnel to carry concealed handguns without a permit in the state.

USPSA issued a statement (.pdf) on the security breach of their website. Turns out they didn’t encrypt the passwords for a specific reason.

Contact
  • (919) 295-6128 (voicemail line)

Dec 08 2014

1hr 7mins

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Rank #10: Competitive Shooting Best Practices

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Just a few things I've noticed that I thought I would point out. The first two things seem to be done mostly by newer shooters, and the second two seem to be mostly more-seasoned shooters.

  1. Know the rules. At least have a rudimentary understanding of the rules of the game you're shooting. I don't think you need to read the whole rulebook before your first match (actually, I don't think it would be very helpful, because without context much of it wouldn't make sense), but at least make an effort to know the safety rules, and then try to pick up something more each time you shoot. Not only will you help others, but most importantly knowing the rules you'll be able help yourself.
  2. Know your equipment. Know how to clear malfunctions and manipulate your gun. Also, know your support gear. If you can't holster and unholster your gun with one hand, you might need some more practice or different gear.
  3. Don't self deprecate yourself on the firing line. Telling people that you're planning for makeup shots and things like that will just ensure that you'll have a bunch of makeup shots. Nobody want's that garbage.
  4. Don't change your stage plan. Unless it's pointed out to you that you've planned to do something completely stupid, don't make changes after you've started to visualize a stage. It's never a good, and it very rarely works out.
Gear that Doesn't Suck

I picked up this Caldwell Chronograph a couple weeks ago, and finally got it out to the range this week. I bought it because it was the cheapest thing going. After I opened the box I realized that it has a smartphone app that connects to the chronograph through a cable and syncs all of the shots. It seemed gimmicky to me, but I decided to try it at the range anyways.

It's so easy to chronograph multiple loads now. Way easier than I thought. It's a definite winner, and it's still one of the least expensive chronographs out there.

I'm a fan.

Plug of the Week:

Tam had an interesting post about Second Amendment Cosplay at the NRA show this week. If you're not subscribed to her blog, you're wrong.

Contact

luke@triangletactical.net

May 23 2016

33mins

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Rank #11: Rebranding Classifications - 144

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This week we discuss how the shooting sports could rebrand the classification systems to better bring in new shooters. This topic was totally ripped off  inspired by a poster "GuanoLoco" in this thread on the Doodie Project forum. He's spot on.

The News

This week a bunch of folks went to go stand guard at military recruiting stations in the wake of the Chattanooga shooting. Unfortunately though, the folks that were actually there doing noble work were overshadowed by derp. One guy had an ND while playing show-and-tell with his rifle.

The USPSA Board of Directors announced that Production Carry Optics will be a new provisional division through the end of the year. That's basically all we know, and it sounds like a bad idea.

Gear that Doesn't Suck

Prince Grip. It's basically the same stuff as ProGrip (as far as we can tell), and it's a good product if you feel like you need a little extra grip during sweaty, hot matches. It's good stuff, check it out.

Plug of the Week

If you aren't subscribed to the Q&A podcast yet, WTF mate? Go to http://www.triangletactical.net/qna and hit the relevant links to get subscribed. We're having a lot of fun with it, so keep the questions coming. 

Contact

- luke@triangletactical.net

- ben@triangletactical.net

- (919) 295-6128

Jul 27 2015

1hr

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Rank #12: Q&A: Is my Glock 19 holding me back? Heard any Production rumors?

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Bryan What is a good age to start a junior shooter? A lot of it probably has to do with maturity/responsibility. Start them with a pellet gun, BB gun, .22?

Bryan My practice range is an indoor range, and can be rather loud at times; what is great practice drill to do that does not require a shot timer?

Mark Hello Lucas. Thank you for your show. You've helped me get started in competitive shooting. As a middle-aged guy, my biggest challenge is my eye sight. I only use glasses for reading and computer work. I don't wear prescription glasses otherwise which includes shooting. This means the front sight is always fuzzy. I shoot fairly accurately, but I know this is holding me back. I've tried some of my own junk science by shooting with my reading glasses. This brings the front sight into focus, but it makes the target fuzzier than before. I've only done this on a limited basis since my reading glasses aren't safety glasses. My results have been mixed. What do other shooters do to overcome this?

Chris Are there any benefits to shooting 40 Minor for production or Carry Optics?

Edd When shooting competition, where/how do the different bullet weights come into play? 9mm/.40

Steve what movement drills do you practice most in dry fire?

Mike I've been reviewing my match and practice videos and I've noticed something in common, I can get the gun on target fast, but then it looks like I just leave the gun hanging there forever or at least a good second before actually pulling the trigger all the way through, I assume that I'm letting the sights settle. I am using a revolver so every shot is double action and am currently trying to improve my accuracy so I don't just want to push myself to go faster and blaze my way through. Any drills you would suggest for improving accuracy while maintaining speed beyond 10 yards. Thanks

Trey What do you use to keep up with your reloads a journal or software?

Marty On a recent episode I heard you briefly mention your head position when doing turn and drawers. I am assuming you have your head turned to the Direction that your body will be moving when you have made ready. I hadn’t put much thought into it before, I usually just look straight forward and then turn my head and body on the beep. Do you have any evidence that having your head pre-turned makes a difference? Maybe A future junk science episode? Thanks! Marty in Massachusetts.

Sarah I just wanted to let you know I enjoyed hearing you briefly talk about 'Stage Design' this week on the podcast. Anytime you could give pointers on this topic would be great. For instance, when you have limited room to move within a bay, how to you create options? Is there a place where you can find LOTS of stages already designed (I have found random websites with a few stages listed).

Also, any information you can give on creating a stage plan before shooting would be helpful too. I know in the past you have mentioned this, but for new shooters like myself, I find it very difficult to walk up to the bay and figure out how to attack a large round count stage. What are the basics newbies like myself need to know?

Thanks!

Matthew How bad is the Glock 19 hurting me in USPSA? I know you are not big on gear but I have to ask if there are measurable advantages to having a larger gun?

James Hi Lucas! Heard any rumors on what changes to Production are going to be discussed? Anything that has you particularly nervous??- thanks!

Mike I have been shooting for about 5 years, but my have yet to shoot my first match. I have been doing a lot of the Stoeger dry fire drills and things seem to be going really well. I plan on shooting my first IDPA match in a month or so. My question is this: My offhand has a pretty significant tremor. When shooting offhand supported, everything is great, but when I shoot offhand only, unsupported, I won’t be able to hit the broadside of a barn; My hand shakes way too much. In fact, I’m concerned that under the pressure of being in a match my shots could go all over. Is there any kind of Accommodation that can be made for something like this? Could I just shoot with my strong hand and take a procedural or would that be totally devastating to my score? Take the MICs and move on? Thoughts?

Feb 14 2018

49mins

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Rank #13: Stop wasting your time on stuff that doesn't matter

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Ever see the guys at a match who have the well rehearsed "tactical kata" but can't really shoot that well? What about the guy that tells you X product is better than Y because it has *more* features, even if those features aren't useful. What about the guys who buy a crappy gun, and then spend the next years trying to make it better, instead of just saving up for something that doesn't suck.

All these people are wasting time on stuff that doesn't matter. If you want to get better, stop wasting your time, streamline, and get better.

The News

A Johnston county, NC school opened an indoor shooting range (for JROTC students to shoot pellet guns). Even though it's pellet guns, I think this is awesome.

A DC police officer was instructed to walk into roll call with an unloaded pistol , and dryfire it pointed at another officer as part of a training exercise. This is frighteningly stupid. I can't believe it happened, and I can't believe he wasn't shot by all of the other officers in the room.

CALM DOWN INTERNET!

Have you heard? Californis is banning all gun dealers! They're shutting them all down!

Yeah, that's not the case. They are trying to pass a bill that's pretty nasty for FFLs, but it's not a complete shutdown of all the FFLs in the state as most of the headlines from the last week would have you believe.

According to the NRA-ILA, the bill would do a few things:

AB 2459 would make four serious changes to California’s dealer licensing requirements.

  1. A prohibition on licensee business premises being on a residential property.
  2. A clear statement that localities may impose more restrictive requirements on licensees than those imposed by state law.
  3. A requirement that licensees maintain full color video surveillance that is of sufficient quality to provide for facial recognition and records all firearm transactions on the premises, all locations where firearms and ammunition are stored, the immediate exterior of the licensed premises, and all parking facilities owned by the licensee.  The video equipment would be required to run during all business hours and be set to begin recording when motion is detected at all other times.  The licensee would have to certify to having compliant video equipment at least yearly and make any needed repairs to the equipment within 15 days of any damage.  The footage would need to be stored on the premises for at least five years, but that could be extended if the footage may be part of a law enforcement investigation.  Licensees would also be required to post a prominent sign indicating that customers are being recorded.
  4. All licensees would be required to have a liability policy of a minimum of $1M per incident to cover liability arising from "theft, sale, lease or transfer or offering for sale, lease or transfer of a firearm or ammunition, or any other operations of the business and business premises."

Yeah, it's bad, and it would definitely shut down a lot of businesses, but it's not the blanket ban you've been lead to believe is happening.

Gear that Doesn't Suck

You should have a squib stick, but you shouldn't waste a bunch of money buying one that's actually made as a squib stick. For less than $6 (at the time of this episode being published) you can get a 12" bras rod that's perfect to use as a squib stick for 9mm and larger handguns. Find it at triangletactical.net/doesntsuck.

Dryfire Tip of the Week:

Tighten up your dryfire with some partials. I've been slaying my dryfire lately with wide open targets, but at the IDPA match this weekend I totally borked when trying to shoot some targets that only had the heads available. On another stage I wound up getting some rounds in the head box of the target, which is great, except if we're being honest, I wasn't aiming for the head box...

Anyways, I'm breaking out the no-shoot and hardcover in my dryfire again. Give it a try.

Contact

If you've got something for me, hit the comments below, or shoot me an email at luke@triangletactical.net

Apr 25 2016

39mins

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Rank #14: Integrated vs. Specialized Practice - 132

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This week Ben and I talk about the importance of practicing little things, in small steps, one at a time. Seems like there's a divide among the shooting community where some trainers tend to have students practice large, complex drills, and other folks (generally the more competition minded) tend to break things down a bit more. We've both found that breaking things down for a bit, and then putting them back together tends to work well.

Gear That Doesn't Suck

New segment this week! We get asked a lot about different pieces of gear, and what our thoughts are on different things, so we're going to be promoting a piece of gear on every show that we've used and can recommend. This week we talk a bit about the Howard Leight Impact Sport Electric Earmuffs that we've both been using for a few years. They're inexpensive, rather durable (I finally broke mine after about 4 years of use) and they work well.

The News:

Some guy shot himself in the restroom at a Chick-fil-a. Apparently his Glock "went off" while he was pulling up his pants. Don't fiddle with your blaster in the restroom, leave it holstered.

A heroic High School teacher tackled a school shooter. Interesting that he was able to get into position to do it, and took the initiative to do it. Bravo.

H562 (The big omnibus firearm bill working it's way through the NCGA) is still alive. There's a good read about it here, which I reference in the episode.

Contact:

- luke@triangletactical.net

- ben@triangletactical.net

- (919) 295-6128

May 04 2015

55mins

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Rank #15: Do's and Dont's

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  • Do - Do some YouTube research on different matches. If all you’ve done is read forum posts about different matches, and you’re SURE you know what you want to shoot, because the”other game” has too many rules, go watch some videos of the other games too. Just like with self defense law, most forum posts about matches, and rules and stuff are just plain wrong.
  • Don’t - Don’t go spend a ton of cash on competition gear before you’ve shot a match or two. I've seen people buy a bunch of stuff wanting to shoot in a certain division, only to find out the stuff they bought isn't legal for that division.
  • Do - When it’s time to buy gear, buy good stuff. I messed around for literally years making sub-par gear, constantly fiddling with things, when I should have just bought stuff that gets out of my way and lets me be awesome.
  • Don’t - Don’t take advice about competition from random gun people, or people behind the gun counter about competition gear, matches, etc. Find a higher level competitor to get your advice from. This goes for things like practice, types of matches, gear, whatever else. General “gun people” don’t know jack about competition. Pistol shooters don’t know jack about rifle shooting, what have you. 
  • Don’t - Don’t assume a piece of gear is legal for competition just because it’s got “competition” in the marketing. There’s a LOT of this going around and I really wish companies would get their crap together and stop misleading people, or at the very least list what competitions/divisions their gun is legal for.
  • Don’t - Don’t try to shoot like the fast guys when that’s not your skill level. I’ve seen several new folks show up to a match, and literally shoot stages completely missing half the targets, but with grand master level times. If you try to shoot faster than you've ever shot to try and roll with the big dogs, you're gonna have a bad time.
The News

A Constitutional carry bill has been introduced in North Carolina.

Gear That Doesn't Suck

Anker PowerCore powerbank. This sucker will re-charge my cell phone almost 10 times. It's a beast, and it's well made, charges fast, and I just generally like it. I bought it in case I lost power for a few days in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, and I've found myself using quite a bit at the range to keep my phone charged, and when using my phone as a wifi hotspot since that's quite the battery drain.

Things that Make You go "ugghhh" at a match

Don't forget to send me a voicemail about things that make you go "ugghhh" at a match. Here's the deets.

Feb 14 2017

48mins

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Rank #16: What's the Difference Between IDPA and USPSA?

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In the live chat for the last Triangle Tactical Q&A show, Austin asked "What's the difference between IDPA and USPSA?"

I didn't have time to get to it in the Live Q&A show, so I thought I'd talk about it here on the main podcast. 

Here's the rundown:

Concealment:

IDPA requires you to have your gun concealed. You'll generally see people using a vest to conceal their gun, but a vest is not required.

USPSA does not require your gun to be concealed.

Divisions:

For the most part, the different divisions in each game are somewhat similar-ish. 

In USPSA there are 7 divisions. This is really high level, but here's the breakdown:

  • Production - This is the division I shoot. You'll want to shoot 9mm in Production. You're limited to 10rds in a magazine, and in this division you'll see a lot of Glocks, M&P's, CZ's and Tanfoglio pistols. 
  • Carry Optics - This division is for pistols that have slide-ride optics. My advice here is to buy an optic with a GREAT warranty. I've seen a LOT of them break, and they're expensive.
  • Pistol Caliber Carbine - Pretty self explanatory. You're generally going to see 9mm AR's, that sort of thing.
  • Single Stack - This is a division for 1911 pattern pistols.
  • Limited - You can basically do whatever you want to your pistol in Limited, except for have a compensator, optic, or weapon-light. You'll generally see .40S&W 2011 pistols in this division.
  • Open - This is the division you probably think of when you think of a race-gun. 2011 pattern pistol, red-dot optic, compensator, chambered in .38Super or 9mm major. 

IDPA has a few less divisions:

  • Stock Service Pistol - Pretty similar to USPSA's Production division. Guns like the Glock 34, Glock 17, M&P, etc. will shoot in this division without many modifications. 
  • Enhanced Service Pistol - ESP allows some more modifications than SSP, as well as single-action pistols.
  • Custom Defensive Pistol - This is basically the 1911 division, but you can shoot other .45ACP pistols here too.
  • Compact Carry Pistol - A division for the smaller guns that people actually carry concealed. It's basically for your S&W Shield sized guns, up to about the Glock 19 sized guns. 
  • Back-up Gun - This is or the teeny tiny guns like the Ruger LCP, etc. 
Stages:

USPSA stages can have up to 32 required rounds. This means you'll need to make sure you've got enough magazines to shoot all that. 

IDPA stages are limited to 18 rounds per stage, which means you need a little less ammo, and other gear to get started. 

In USPSA, you're basically presented with a problem, and it's up to you to come up with a stage plan, and solve the problem yourself. 

In IDPA, you'll be told a bit more about how to shoot each stage. "Start here, shoot these targets from here, those targets from there, etc."

USPSA Classifier Updates

Also in the live chat for the last Triangle Tactical Q&A show I had a few people asking me about my thoughts on the announced USPSA classifier updates. I read the entire thread over on Doodie Project, and honestly, I think the whole thing is a big nothing-burger. I think they should be updated frequently, and I don't really have an issue with how it's being done. 

Plug of the Week:

Jessica Nietzel wrote a FANTASTIC article over on the Shooters Mindset blog about subjectivity in RO calls in USPSA. 

DQing new shooter SUCKS. 

DQing you friends SUCKS. 

But, sometimes it needs to be done. Go read it. 

Jul 18 2017

36mins

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Rank #17: Gun Belts – Sig Braces – Voicemails - 117

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This week we talk about gun belts. There’s a lot of BS spewed on the internet about belts, and we sort through it based on our experience. Some folks like leather belts because they have a more traditional look, and they tend to flex and form to your body real nice. Other folks like the “tactical” nylon type belts because they are more adjustable, and can be extremely stiff.

I started out carrying concealed with a Wilderness Tactical CSM belt (the one with the kydex stiffener) and later moved to the Two Fools Leather Goods Fat Boy Belt after Curt from TFLG sent me one for review. Some years later, I’m still wearing the leather Fat Boy Belt. I miss the infinite adjustability of the nylon belt, but the leather, while being really stiff and sturdy, has a little stretch and give to it that makes is perfect for carrying a pistol for me.

The News:

As you’ve certainly heard, the BATFE changed their mind about the Sig SB-15 Stabilizing Brace. No, the braces weren’t made illegal, even though some headlines would have you believe otherwise. Basically, they decided that shouldering an AR pistol with an SB-15 brace attached constitutes redesigning the firearm into an unregistered short barreled rifle. How it can go from perfectly legal to illegal when you hold it up to your shoulder is beyond me, but that’s the new ruling. What’s next, will they say that pulling the trigger really fast makes a gun a machine gun?

Magpul announced that they will be making Glock 17 magazines. Yep, aftermarket, US made, 100% polymer Glock magazines. MSRP is $16. I’m stoked.

Plug of the Week:

This week we plug the Pricelaw Blog. They post some really good, in depth analysis of gun laws. They can do this because they’re lawyers, not college drop-out bloggers like me. Check them out, and subscribe to their blog in your feed reader, it’s good stuff.

Contact:
  • (919) 295-6128

Jan 19 2015

1hr 1min

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Rank #18: How to Make a Range Officer Nervous

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There are certain things that a shooter can do at a match that might not be against the rules, but are certain to make the range officer nervous. As it happens, there are a few things that bother me, that don’t seem to bother other RO’s and there are a couple things that other ROs get bent out of shape about that don’t bother me at all.

Things that are certain to make me nervous:

Unpredictable shooters. Most of the time I can tell from a shooters walkthrough how they’re going to shoot a stage, and position myself accordingly, no big deal. Every now and then though, something either goes wrong with their stage plan, or they don’t give me any indication of what they’re going to do, or they just have a crazy stage plan where they’re running all over the place, so I might not be positioned optimally for that.

Putting your hand on your gun before the Make Ready command. This makes me especially nervous on stages with table starts. I’ve seen a lot of DQ’s where the shooter plopped their gat down on the table for a table start before being told to do so. When I RO on a stage with a table start, if possible, I like to stay close to the table to try and keep this from happening.

Trying to find your ejected round at unload and show clear before you holster your gun. Just slap it in the holster first so I can call the range clear, and then find your round later. It’ll still be there in 5 seconds after your gun is in the holster, and I might even help you look for it.

Folks that just don’t quite understand what to do. Listen, if you’re not clear on what to do, just stop and ask. Ask the Range Officer, or anyone that that looks like they know what they’re doing. It’s way better to just ask than it is to make a mistake.

Things that don’t bother me, that other RO’s get bent out of shape about:

The flip-and-catch. This is where the shooter racks the slide back in a way that makes the ejected round fly into the air a little, and they the round is caught by his weak hand. A lot of RO types get real bent out of shape about this claiming that it’s more likely to have an accidental discharge, or more likely to sweep yourself, etc. None of this has been my experience AND I’ve noticed that the shooters that tend to flip-and-catch are the shooters who actually practice. I’m really not concerned about a well practiced shooter doing something that he’s practiced over and over and over again that doesn’t break any safety rules.

Shooters who take a sight picture at load and make ready. Generally this becomes a thing when someone who is used to ROing at IDPA matches comes to a USPSA or outlaw match. This isn’t allowed in IDPA, but in most outlaw matches I’ve shot it’s legal, as well as in USPSA. The argument is “what if they have an AD?” well… what if they have an AD at any other point in the course of fire? They get DQ’d and that’s the end of it. Oh, and when they’re in the start position taking their sight picture, they’re pointing the gun at the berm, so even if they do AD, it’s not leaving the bay.

Gear that Doesn’t Suck

I mentioned on the show a while back that I was going to pick up a CAT tourniquet for my range bag. Well, a bunch of folks who have experience using TQ's told me to look at the SOFT-T Wide tourniquet. Amazon just notified me that it had a small price drop, so if you've been thinking about getting one as well, now is a good time.

The News

** Editors Note: In this episode I said "Massachusetts" exactly one time, and then started saying "Maryland" over and over. I meant Massachusetts. My bad.

Last week the Attorney General in Mass "clarified" their assault weapons bad to basically ban ANY AR-15 in the state, among other semi-automatic rifles. I went through and read the actual text of the law, and I think she's able to do this because it's incredibly vague. The law uses terms like "similar to" "copies" and "duplicates". The words copy and duplicate are pretty specific in my opinion, and they don't define "similar to" in the law, which is now being interpreted by the AG. It's a bad law, now being made worse because it's vague and un-defined, in my non-lawyer, college dropout opinion.

Plug of the Week:

This recent episode of That Shooting Show has stuck with me all week. Steve said something like "How can you expect to have a consistent match performance when you don't have consistent practice."

Yep.

Jul 25 2016

33mins

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Rank #19: The Case for Training

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I recently asked my friends about where to send someone for training with a pistol and an AR-15. I received multiple messages saying that I should just bring whoever needs the training out to a match, and they'll figure out what works and what doesn't.

I don't think this is the right answer. We should encourage folks to get training if they feel like they need it. Certainly there are people who train WAY too much, but I think they're in the minority.

The News

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg put her foot in her mouth last week during an interview with the New York Times. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog picked up on it, and there's some interesting discussion about how she may now have to recuse herself from any 2A cases going forward since she wasn't impartial during the interview.

Pokemon Go released this week. It's a video game that requires people to get up off their butt and actually do things, and go places to advance in the game. Mostly it has you go to public places, but the data set they have for the game does sometimes have landmarks setup near peoples homes. In a case in Florida, some jackass fired shots at some Pokemon players driving away from his residence. 

Listen, if you're playing the game, respect private property. If you see people playing the game, don't be an asshole unless it's warranted.

Jul 18 2016

33mins

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Rank #20: USPSA Grand Master Steve Anderson - 107

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Ben is taking a 2 day handgun class with Steve Anderson from That Shooting Show and he had a chance to sit down with him and record an episode. They talk quite a bit about USPSA, and the mental game. If you aren't familiar with Steve, he's known in the competitive shooting world as the dry fire guy. He's written a few books on the subject, and now he hosts a podcast (along with his dogs and David Lee Roth) where he talks more about the practical shooting mental game, dry fire, and match management.

"Where's the improvement gonna come from if you don't strap on the gear and get to work?"

You can find Steve at AndersonShooting.com with links to purchase his books, sign up for classes, and subscribe to his podcast.

Nov 10 2014

59mins

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