Category : Reloading
As many of you know, I have some medical issues that are currently keeping me from doing my Reloading Classes in person. I apologize for the inconvenience that this might cause for you. During this Pandemic, gun sales have risen to new all time highs. And, apparently, people are hoarding ammunition to go with those new guns. So, it’s otherwise a great time to learn how to make your own.
However, between the pandemic concerns of doing small classes in tight quarters, and the potential for virus exposure, I am also dealing with dire life threatening cancer treatments, one of which is highly experimental, and under strict FDA control. So, for those of you wishing to learn ASAP, please fill out the CONTACT FORM, and I will gladly add you to my Waiting List. The list grows longer every week, and I am sure that once all of this is over (including my medical issues), I’ll be able to roll out some larger classes, and get you trained pretty quickly.
In the meantime, I get a lot of calls from people asking my opinion about learning on their own, YouTube, etc. The true issue with those learning outlets is that it is NOT like wanting to learn how to fix your computer, printer, or vacuum cleaner. Reloading ammunition reloading has serious consequences if mistakes are made. And, while many of the on-line FREE outlets for knowledge are well intentioned, they really have no vested interest in keeping you safe. I’ve watched many of those videos, and would caution you that there’s a lot of information NOT GIVEN there. Some of which could cost you dearly. So, please, be patient! Wait for proper training. This is a “I want it now” type society. I get that. But to be honest with you, the knowledge for how to use your gun for self defense sincerely outweighs any need for massive quantities of ammunition for your new gun. Having a hand gun, and shooting ity at paper targets DOES NOT QUALIFY you to defend the lives of yourself and your loved ones in a high stress life and death situation.
So, here are my recommendations:
- SEEK and book professional hand gun self defense training classes FIRST!!
I can provide local and area references for self defense training instructors who are actively providing training, even during the pandemic.
- Professional training instructors can, and will, upon request, provide ammunition for those training classes.
- DO NOT presume that merely having a gun will keep you safe in a sudden attack situation. UNLESS you get some training so that you know how to handle all of the potential scenarios that could arise. Without training, and the determined attitude, you are more likely to get hurt, or at the very least lose your gun to the bad guy who takes it out to the streets, to commit additional crimes. You have all seen the recent news events. They are serious and real. You will be a victim without proper hand gun self defense training. The making of ammunition is merely secondary to the importance of getting qualified self defense hand gun training.
- WATCH THIS VIDEO. It will hopefully set your mind in the proper attitude for self defense with a hand gun. This video, filmed a long time ago, by Col Jeff Cooper, is still the standard for “situational awareness” for self defense with a handgun. So, while the video quality is not High Def as we have become accustomed to, the message is loud and clear! It’s a big file, 67 megs, and should begin streaming immediately when you click on the link. I will figure out how to make it more user friendly or pretty looking to access (maybe YouTube link). But, it’s critically important that you understand the concepts of self defense with ab handgun before rushing off to a shooting range to blast ammo at paper targets.
https://www.floridareloading.com/coljeffcooper/jeff cooper colors.mp4
Here’s the YouTube link if that suits you better:
- The responsibility of carrying a hand gun, especially concealed, for self defense, cannot be over stated. In a high stress, life and death situation, you have mere fractions of a second to make life changing/altering decisions. You could either be killed, wounded, have loved ones taken from you, or at least land yourself in serious legal trouble because you didn;t know what to do during such scenarios. When I actively do my own Concealed Carry Classes (also currently on hold), I spend a LOT of the class talking about the ETHICS of concealed carry. And, about the laws pertaining to concealed carry. However, other than the obligatory five shots required by the Florida Department of Agriculture (the issuing body statewide here in Florida), mine is not a shooting or training class for actually using your gun in high stress shooting self defense situations. The power to take a life with a tool in your hand is one that you have to be willing to accept with a deep respect and understanding. And, while many are eager to “have a gun”, few are willing to accept the mindset that they might have to actually take a life with it, should that dreadful moment ever come. The bad guys care NOTHING for your life. They are animals, intent on only their own progress, such as that is, through life. So, do not get any sort of confidence or sense that merely brandishing a gun at a bad guy will scare them away. That only usually excites them more to take that gun from you, and hurt you with it. Un;less you have trained for all of the possible hundreds!) of scenarios for defending you and your loved one, you are almost better off leaving your had gun at home.
Feel free to call me regarding my reloading classes, questions that you might have regarding the status of the classes, and any general reloading questions. I will not attempt to train you in reloading over the phone. But, I am more than willing to provide you with some insights and guidelines to provide you with some knowledge prior to my classes coming back on line.
BUT, I URGE you to seek professional self defense hand gun training before you get all worried about ammo.
I have invited some of my law enforcement friends, experts in self defense hand gun training, and practical use of psychological high stress, instant life changing decision moments, to provide some additional insights on these subjects. It’s my hope that you will come to sincerely know and understand that the realities of defending one’s self and loved ones goes well past having a gun, and ammo to shoot at a shooting range. The real need for TRAINING to exceed the need for ammo.
Peter Joyce – President/Owner SRT Concepts
- President SRT Concepts LLC 2014-Present
- Training/Range Operations Manager Windham Weaponry Indoor Shooting Range & Retail Store 2015-2017
- Director of Training Weaponcraft / Former Owner 1993-2014
- Federal Court Security Officer/Firearms Trainer 2008-2013
- Portland, Maine Police Department Retired Officer 1981-2008
- Portland SWAT 24 years
It is important for gun owners to distinguish between training and practice. Training is skill development with an instructor providing feedback, encouragement and a path to develop skills. The instructor has the knowledge and ability to assess your performance and make corrections as needed. Training scars are created by practicing wrong techniques.
Practice is performing repetitions on skills learned in a training session. Since shooting is a diminishable skill, it must be practiced along with situational awareness, tactics and techniques needed to defend yourself, family and friends.
Most defensive shootings are over in 3 seconds, take place within 3 feet from the attacker and 3 rounds are fired. In order to be justified in using deadly force you have to believe you’re going to suffer serious bodily injury or death. Real world encounters are usually a surprise and involve a high degree of stress and adrenaline dump. Confidence in your firearm skills help you manage your stress level when confronted with an active threat. Your Mindset, Preparedness, Skills, Tactics, and Gear are all ingredients needed to survive an active threat.
Mindset: Normalcy Bias is a state of mind for every day you live your live not touched by violence it takes you longer to identify and react to violence being used against you. You may be in denial that you are being targeted by an attacker. To defeat normalcy bias, you must to be aware of your surroundings and know what to look for.
We train for the top 20% of criminals that will take your life in the act of a crime. If you wake to sounds of an intruder don’t yell you have a gun or shine your laser downstairs. Once you yell police are on the way 80% of intruders will flee. The top 20% will try to take what they want and don’t mind taking your life. If you yell you have a gun, you’re giving your position away and that you are armed. Your intruder could use that information to defeat you.
Preparedness: Conduct a threat assessment of your home, workplace, vehicle and other areas you frequent. Identify threatening situations and plan your response. Brief your family members in their response and plan your response as if your attacker is right-handed and use tactical angles to get the advantage. The majority of people in our society are right-handed. Use tactical angles to select your shelter in place position. If a right-handed armed intruder enters a room his strong side is towards the left. Set your shelter in place position, if armed off to the right.
Some additional steps that you can take to be better prepared for the unexpected attack:
- placing cameras around your home will help you clear areas by using your camera app on your phone
- placing weapons or improvised weapons around your home. Pepper spray can be used inside your home, as well as outside.
- Place your key fob next to your bed.Make a plan with neighbors to call police if your car horn does not reset in a reasonable time. If an intruder enters your home or if you have a medical emergency activate your panic alarm on your key fob. Neighbors will not hesitate to call 911 if you make a plan with them. Most intruders will flee once the horn sounds drawing attention to your house.
Skills: The majority of customers that used the indoor range I managed practiced target shooting not defensive shooting fundamentals. Shooters would stand straight when firing, close their non-shooting eye, use proper sight alignment and slow fire. The majority of those customers owned firearms and practiced motivated by a need for personal or home defense concerns.
Training with a qualified instructor will provide knowledge of proven defensive shooting skills that have been tested in real life encounters. Skills that work best when stressed and enable you to survive a deadly force encounter.
Tactics: You can be the best shot, but if you don’t know how to move and make good decisions, you’ll be dead. Training provides a course of action that will keep you safe. Knowledge on how to use cover, unconventional firing positions, room softening techniques, how to enter a room and search, manage hallways and stairwells, how to shelter in place, low light tactics, vehicle tactics are all essential skills to respond to an active threat.
Gear: Frequently I have students in my classes with gear that doesn’t meet the standard for self-defense. Holsters, lights, and even firearms are not the right choice. There are a lot of options for gear. I suggest you seek advice from an experience instructor with a background where they have first hand knowledge of all of the above. Instructors with a Law Enforcement SWAT or Military Spec Ops background in my opinion have the most to offer.
Training provides you knowledge of laws pertaining to carrying a concealed handgun, use of force laws, safe gun handling skills, mindset, preparedness, tactics, skills and gear selection. Simple range exercises are not enough to prepare you to face an attacker trying to kill you. Training must include repetitions of complex exercises that make you think and move. Training instills confidence in your skills and enable you to minimize your stress level when faced with a life-threatening situation.
Train to Be Your Own Hero
Rob Westcott – Retired, Expert on the psychology of self defense handgun training
Orville could not be more right in his insistence of extensive training from an experienced self-defense specialist before a gun owner attempts to defend him or her self, or others. I pinned on my first badge in 1977, and faced more than my share of life-and-death encounters. My name is Robert Westcott, founder of Westcott Tactical Training, and I specialize in teaching people to defend themselves.
Paper targets do not shoot back. People do; and quite frankly, many bad guys practice shooting more than the average cop. There is no pause button in a life-or-death encounter Decisions are made in fractions of seconds. No second takes. Stress is high; and this means your cerebral cortex will be on vacation and you will largely working on autopilot, which you had better have programmed right and used regularly in practice. Mind and body and hand and eye connections fade without regular repetition. Lack of planning and imagining scenarios will lead to panic. Game over. Plan on spending at least as much for your training as you do for your firearm, maybe twice that, and then regular refreshers. Otherwise you will be like the man driving on slick tires on a wet road. The fatal crash is not an “if” question: rather a “when” question, and you are responsible.
From my father, I learned firearms safety and point shooting in hunting. Early in Law Enforcement, I learned the principles taught at the FBI Academy. I was the first graduate of the Worcester, Mass Police Academy to qualify in semi-automatic pistol as well as revolver. Along the way, I did graduate and post-graduate work in Psychology, was an Adjunct Professor of Psychology, and was a Clinical Supervisor. I was an Expert Witness in Forensic Mental Health. Utilizing my mental health and computer knowledge, I wrote the Cause Rationale for securing search warrants for cyber evidence, and these have been accepted throughout the entire US judicial system. Going back, to my eleventh grade Geometry, I learned about vectors and getting a projectile, be it basketball or bullet, to its desired destination. From Human Anatomy and physiology, I learned how our magnificent bodies work. From “Jelly” Brice to Jerry Michulek, to Col Jeff Cooper, and William Fairbairn, author of “Shoot to Live”. I have studied the masters of the handgun. And I am still learning, and more importantly training and teaching, at 70.
In modern aerial combat, the pilot does not fly the plane, he WEARS it. The two
become one. Just so the Defender and his or her gun!
Against a skilled opponent, if you have to take time to think, you are dead. Bad guys do not like to leave witnesses behind. This was drilled into me at a Narcotics Survival School. A hundred rounds into a silhouette will not hack it! Might as well buy some good Life Insurance to take care of your family.
So, please seek hand gun training, especially advanced levels of training. That training is much more critical than finding ammunition, or making it yourself.
Feel free to call me, however, should you have questions regarding this philosophy of training. Or, with regard to my reloading classes, and things that you can do in the meantime to prepare for my classes to resume.
Some of the questions I have already fielded:
- Should I buy a “Reloading KIT”?
Generally speaking, NO. You are better off, cost wise, and preference of equipment if you purchased the components for such a kit separately. For example, the heart of the kit is the weighing scale. The kits do not usually offer the best choice for a weighing scale in the kit. Buy those components to really suit your needs. There are other items in the kit that I would suggest that you pass on (making your own lube pad, for example, using a simple paper towel and sizing lube).
- Should I watch YouTube Videos and learn that way?
Generally speaking, you will miss a LOT of details that could get you and your fingers/gun/eyes, in trouble. Please do not be in a hurry to start making ammo. Please re-read the previous sections of this article, and see what is vastly more important than having large amounts of ammo on hand.
- Can you suggest a list of equipment that I can purchase in the meantime, while waiting for you to resume your classes?
While I suppose that I could offer a general type of equipment list, there are two factors that cause me to hesitate:
The selection of specific pieces of reloading equipment is truly a function of your individual needs. A lot of overly energetic students jump the gun and buy too much equipment, or the wrong equipment for their needs. Why buy a $1000 progressive press when in reality a $500 total cost single station type press set up will do everything that you need? The opportunity to actually use the equipment during my classes is one of the features of the class that makes it worthwhile to wait. You’ll use what you need to use, and understand the purpose of each. In the end, your reloading equipment will be perfect for your needs, rather than some generic list of gear.
Secondly, and most troubling, once you have reloading equipment in hand, your temptation to USE IT will become overwhelming. And, there in lays the danger. A little knowledge is a very dangerous thing, especially when it comes to making ammunition.
Additionally, you should be aware that reloading components, bullets, primers, powder, etc are in extremely short supply in the market place. Most of that is fear, the same fear that you have which caused you to seek buying a gun. Once this Pandemic and the Presidential elections are OVER, things will start to settle down to a normal pace again. Hoarding of components is the issue. And, buying the wrong powders, etc, will do you no good, and get you hurt when the wrong powders are used in a cartridge and blow up your gun/fingers/ etc. So, please be patient.
Seek out that self defense handgun training, and be prepared in the best way possible for a future date (soon,we all hope) when I can resume the reloading classes, and provide you with the knowledge for making the ammo that you will want for additional self defense handgun training.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through the Contact Form on this site, or call me at 386-753-8898. I’ll do my best to answer your questions, and put your mind at ease during these stressful times. The world is NOT coming to an end. Take a deep breath, exhale slowly, and think through the important steps for your self defense training with a hand gun.
Orville Sept 22, 2020