In August 2013, DEFCAD released the public alpha of its 3D search engine, which indexes public object repositories and allows users to add their own objects. The site soon closed down due to pressure from the United States State Department, under the pretense that distributing certain files online might violate US Arms Export ITAR regulations.

From 2013 to 2018, DEFCAD remained offline, pending resolution to the legal case Defense Distributed brought against the State Department, namely that ITAR regulations placed a prior restraint on Defense Distributed’s free speech, particularly since the speech in question regarded another constitutionally protected right: firearms. While the legal argument failed to gain support in federal court, in a surprise reversal in 2018, the State Department agreed that ITAR did in fact violate Defense Distributed’s free speech. Therefore, for a brief period in late 2018 DEFCAD was once again publicly available online.

Shortly thereafter, 20 states and Washington DC sued the State Department, in order to prevent DEFCAD from remaining online. At its core, this new suit (correctly) cited a procedural error: the proper notice had not been given prior to enacting the change in how ITAR applied to small arms. As such, DEFCAD was once again taken offline, pending the State Department providing proper notice via the Federal Register.

On March 28, 2020, DEFCAD once again became publicly available online

Gun-Rights Activist Releases Blueprints for Digital Guns
Cody Wilson calls the move impervious to legal challenge

A U.S. technology company made thousands of digital-gun files publicly available, including blueprints that will enable users to make plastic guns with three-dimensional printers, a scourge of gun-control advocates.
Cody Wilson, a director of the company, Defcad, has waged a multiyear legal battle against the federal government over the right to share 3-D-gun-related materials. This was the third time he has released such files, but the first time he has abided by U.S. foreign export controls online, using what he said are digital verification tools to ensure legal file downloads.
Mr. Wilson said he believed his release of the files would be “impervious” to legal challenge and would help normalize the distribution of such material for easy download in the future.
Mr. Wilson is offering access to the files for an annual fee of $50, characterizing his service as “Netflix for 3-D guns.”
His opponents quickly condemned the action, saying that he is bypassing federal gun laws, including those providing for background checks of gun buyers. Foes are also concerned about the proliferation of 3-D-printed guns, which don’t have serial numbers, making it difficult for law-enforcement officers to track them should they be involved in a crime.
“The biggest concern with 3-D-printed guns and the technical data for them is that they’re not traceable,” said Kelly Sampson, counsel at Brady: United Against Gun Violence, a gun-control group. “It’s a huge loophole and opportunity for people who would otherwise be unable to access firearms to be able to do so.”
Federal law generally permits the manufacture of guns for personal use.
The State Department, which oversees the distribution of 3-D-gun blueprints, regardless of export intent, has the responsibility of scrutinizing Mr. Wilson’s new effort. The department declined to comment.
Mr. Wilson said he is fighting the imposition of limits on personal freedoms and that he expects people to download the 3-D-gun files not necessarily to manufacture guns, but “as a form of internal resistance.”
“For me, this is a political battle,” Mr. Wilson said.
Mr. Wilson first alarmed lawmakers when his company, Defense Distributed, published 3-D-gun design files in 2012. In 2013, the State Department ordered him to take down the plans.
The Obama administration ultimately reasoned that the files could be downloaded by foreign nationals and were thus classified as exports regulated by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, or ITAR, a U.S. control on the export of defense and military technology.
Mr. Wilson had run afoul of laws designed to control sales for export, not those restricting domestic transactions.
Mr. Wilson engaged in a lengthy legal fight with the federal government, ultimately prevailing in 2018 when the State Department amended its policy and allowed the files to be posted, issuing Mr. Wilson a license to do so.
President Trump waded into the discussion that summer, writing on Twitter that he was “looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!”
Mr. Wilson again published the plans on his site, before a group of 19 state attorneys general brought suit against him in Seattle federal court. U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik issued an injunction ordering Mr. Wilson to take down the plans.
In his ruling, Mr. Lasnik wrote that Mr. Wilson aimed “to arm every citizen outside of the government’s traditional control mechanism.”
Mr. Wilson said he had been waiting for a long-planned transfer of 3-D-gun oversight from ITAR to the Commerce Department to go through before reissuing the blueprints. Commerce Department oversight is in some respects more lenient than that of ITAR, as it isn’t subject to congressional approval.
But when a new suit was brought in Seattle federal court last year, blocking the transfer of 3-D guns to the Commerce Department’s oversight list, Mr. Wilson charted a new course.
Instead of openly publishing the plans, he said that he would now first vet people who would like to download them, ensuring that they are U.S. citizens or legal residents and that they are located within the U.S., maintaining compliance with ITAR export rules.
To achieve this, Mr. Wilson said he would employ four levels of security, including IP geolocation and proxy detection and technology developed for credit bureaus and anti-money-laundering specialists.
“The internet is not an airtight, hack-proof system,” Ms. Sampson said. “Even some of our most secure databases are vulnerable. It’s not quite living in reality to assume that you can 100% secure information that’s online.”
Mr. Wilson’s proposed system can’t prevent people who download blueprints from sharing them with others, including with those outside the U.S. “I can only tell them that it’s against the law to do so,” Mr. Wilson said.
Nevertheless, Mr. Wilson said his approach adheres to export rules. “I’m a compliant part of the system,” he said.
Defcad has so far made 3,680 files available. Mr. Wilson said that the site will ultimately offer more than 25,000 files, the great majority of which will be for traditional guns and gun components. Many of those are already in the public domain.
Mr. Wilson, who lives in Austin, Texas, timed his Friday release to coincide with the anniversary of the 1836 execution of several hundred soldiers in the Texas revolution in the town of Goliad.



NEWTOWN, Conn.—The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) is pleased to report that unintentional firearm fatalities reached their lowest level ever, according to the latest data from the National Safety Council’s just-released Injury Facts Report 2018.

NSSF, as the trade association for the firearm industry and leading proponent of safe gun handling and storage, applauded the report, which shows fatal firearm accidents at their lowest level since record keeping began in 1903. The firearm industry has for the last two decades provided more than 100 million firearm locking devices with new firearms sold and through its award-winning Project ChildSafe® program—the largest and most comprehensive firearm safety program in the country. The industry’s educational materials are widely distributed to gun owners by firearm manufacturers, retailers, instructors and others nationwide.

“As an industry that prioritizes firearm safety, it is extremely good news to see this record decline in gun-related accidents,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF’s President and CEO. “It’s gratifying to know that our industry’s gun safety efforts, including our long-running Project ChildSafe firearm safety education program, are contributing to helping save lives.”

With approximately 100 million gun owners in the country, the data demonstrates that firearms can be safely owned and used and accidents prevented as long as secure storage guidelines are followed. “Securely storing firearms when not in use is the No. 1 way to help prevent accidents, thefts and misuse,” said Bartozzi.

The National Safety Council data showed that for 2018 there were 458 firearm fatalities, accounting for less than 1 percent of unintentional fatalities from all principal causes. In the last two decades (1998-2018) accidental firearm deaths have declined by 47 percent. “Even one accidental firearm fatality is one too many,” said Bartozzi. “We’re aiming for zero, and this is great progress.”

With reports of many people purchasing their first firearm due to safety concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, Bartozzi reminds new gun owners to use the safety device that came packaged with their new firearm when their gun is not under their direct control, to strongly consider using an additional safety device such as a lock box or lockable gun case, and to take advantage of the many gun safety resources at, such as this video on the 10 commandments of firearm safety.

Also, with so many children at home because of COVID-19-related school closures, Bartozzi encourages parents to take time to have “the talk” with their kids about gun safety and to use tools such as the McGruff on Gun Safety videos and a video on how parents can talk to their children about gun safety on the Project ChildSafe website.

Learn more at



The point being, that if you hadn’t already been working on your ammo stock levels and now consider yourself short, you are ‘behind the 8-ball’.

COVID-19 Data Study: Ammunition Sales Continue to Soar in Response to Coronavirus Panic

Updated March 17, 2020: As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads across the United States, its impact can be seen in every community. Businesses and schools are closed, the market is volatile, and store shelves are empty as the American public scrambles to prepare for the worldwide pandemic and social distancing prescribed by the WHO and CDC.

While people stockpile toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and pantry essentials, they’re also purchasing ammunition at an unprecedented rate. Here at, we’ve seen a significant growth in sales that directly correlates with the rise of COVID-19 and its spread across the country. As we mentioned in a press release on March 6, 2020, we first noticed a 54% sales increase on February 23, as the search term “coronavirus” started to gain traction, according to Google Trends.

On March 10, 2020 – the day confirmed cases in the US reached over 1,000, increasing ten-fold in a week – we noticed an unprecedented 276% sales surge that continued through the end of last week and the weekend, as the virus was declared a pandemic, travel bans were implemented, and the stock market experienced its biggest crash since 1987.

When comparing 22 days worth of sales from February 23, 2020, through March 15, with sales from February 1, 2020, through February 22, our data shows these staggering statistics:

  • 309% increase in revenue
  • 78% increase in conversion rate
  • 222% increase in transactions
  • 77% increase in site traffic
  • 27% increase in average order

State-by-State Breakdown of Ammo Sale Increases Due to Coronavirus

It’s also evident that sales are impacted by the proximity of the virus. Most of the top 10 states with the highest increases in ammo sales are either states with some of the greatest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases or neighboring states.

  • Vermont had no previous sales, so it ranks top on our list. Although its COVID-19 cases are minimal, it borders both Massachusetts and New York, two hot spots for coronavirus.
  • Delaware has seen a sales growth of 4,529%. The state’s own numbers are low, but it’s surrounded by a high concentration of cases in New Jersey and the Philadelphia area.
  • Oklahoma saw a growth of 1,081% in sales and borders states like Texas and Colorado, both of which have been hit hard with COVID-19.
  • Mississippi has also seen a significant increase at 1,049%, perhaps influenced by its proximity to Louisiana, which has surpassed 100 confirmed cases.
  • Speaking of which, Louisiana has seen a growth of 1,041%, which may be due to the increasing number of cases the state has seen over the last week.
  • Alabama, which borders COVID-19 hotspots in Florida and Georgia, has seen a sales boost of 892%.
  • Wyoming, which borders Colorado and its 100-plus coronavirus victims, has seen an increase of 819%.
  • The sales increase in Colorado reached 667%.
  • Idaho, which shares a border with Washington, the U.S.’s epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, has had a growth of 586%.
  • Oregon has seen an increase of 550%. Sharing borders with both Washington and California, the state is sandwiched between two of the first states to confirm the virus in the U.S.

We’ve compiled all of this data and combined it into a comprehensive table for your convenience. The table lists states by sales volume with Texas having the largest sales volume and South Dakota the least. It also shows the top three ammo calibers for each state listed so that you can see which calibers have sold the most in each state, and their corresponding sales increase since February 23rd.

State Ranking by Sales Volume Most Popular Caliber by Sales Volume 2nd 3rd
State % Increase % Increase % Increase % Increase
1. Texas +338% 9mm ammo +217% 223 ammo +735% 5.56×45 ammo +319%
2. Florida +235% 9mm ammo +315% 223 ammo +368% 5.56×45 ammo +413%
3. Georgia +344% 9mm ammo +263% 223 ammo +832% 12 gauge ammo +3,489%
4. Pennsylvania +375% 9mm ammo +208% 5.56×45 ammo +504% 223 ammo +1,193%
5. Colorado +730% 9mm ammo +560% 223 ammo +3,178% 7.62×39 ammo +421%
6. Virginia +199% 9mm ammo +142% 40 cal ammo +1,016% 5.56×45 ammo +87%
7. Illinois +350% 9mm ammo +263% 223 ammo +289% 5.56×45 ammo +125%
8. Ohio +392% 9mm ammo +231% 223 ammo +1,012% 5.56×45 ammo +179%
9. Washington +351% 9mm ammo +401% 223 ammo +657% 5.56×45 ammo +159%
10. Michigan +298% 9mm ammo +215% 5.56×45 ammo +661% 223 ammo +244%
11. North Carolina +273% 9mm ammo +398% 223 ammo +952% 5.56×45 ammo +73%
12. Arizona +314% 9mm ammo +275% 223 ammo +665% 5.56×45 ammo +421%
13. New Jersey +218% 9mm ammo +225% 223 ammo +6,353% 12 gauge ammo +199%
14. Tennessee +110% 9mm ammo +85% 223 ammo +731% 12 gauge ammo +135%
15. Maryland +602% 9mm ammo +884% 5.56×45 ammo +908% 12 gauge ammo +496%
16. Alabama +899% 223 ammo +2,645% 9mm ammo +716% 5.7×28 ammo +∞%
17. Utah +363% 9mm ammo +290% 223 ammo +750% 7.62×39 ammo +702%
18. Missouri +182% 9mm ammo +305% 223 ammo +∞% 5.56×45 ammo +59%
19. Nevada +514% 9mm ammo +206% 5.56×45 ammo +1,439% 223 ammo +361%
20. Minnesota +372% 9mm ammo +771% 223 ammo +1,173% 5.56×45 ammo +231%
21. Indiana +211% 9mm ammo +186% 5.56×45 ammo +147% 7.62×39 ammo +∞%
22. New York +204% 5.56×45 ammo +436% 9mm ammo +172% 223 ammo +102%
23. Wisconsin +150% 9mm ammo +606% 223 ammo +112% 5.56×45 ammo +∞%
24. Kentucky +226% 9mm ammo +433% 223 ammo +415% 5.56×45 ammo +1,848%
25. Oregon +614% 9mm ammo +2,787% 223 ammo +1,668% 7.62×39 ammo +∞%
26. Louisiana +1,058% 223 ammo +1,711% 9mm ammo +369% 308 Win ammo +3,083%
27. Connecticut +332% 9mm ammo +752% 45 ACP ammo +724% 5.56×45 ammo +62%
28. South Carolina +384% 9mm ammo +187% 45 auto ammo +1,209% 5.56×45 ammo +1,425%
29. Idaho +743% 223 ammo +∞% 9mm ammo +1,398% 40 cal ammo +2,086%
30. Oklahoma +1,166% 223 ammo +380% 9mm ammo +1,961% 45 ACP ammo +∞%
31. New Hampshire +224% 223 ammo +∞% 5.56×45 ammo +638% 9mm ammo +16%
32. Mississippi +1,049% 5.56×45 ammo +∞% 223 ammo +643% 45 ACP ammo +∞%
33. Nebraska +160% 223 ammo +140% 9mm ammo +71% 5.56×45 ammo +122%
34. New Mexico +207% 9mm ammo +575% 380 ACP ammo +34% 40 cal ammo +∞%
35. Kansas +125% 9mm ammo +35% 223 ammo +239% 12 gauge ammo +1,347%
36. Iowa +227% 223 ammo +∞% 5.56×45 ammo +∞% 45 ACP ammo +∞%
37. Maine +631% 5.56×45 ammo +∞% 223 ammo +229% 308 Win ammo +∞%
38. Rhode Island +188% 9mm ammo +375% 45 ACP ammo +∞% 223 ammo -12%
39. Wyoming +819% 223 ammo +946% 9mm ammo +∞% 308 Win ammo +∞%
40. Arkansas +176% 12 gauge ammo +∞% 9mm ammo +10% 38 Special ammo +∞%
41. Delaware +4,529% 223 ammo +∞% 9mm ammo +∞% 5.56×45 ammo +∞%
42. West Virginia +44% 9mm ammo +164% 223 ammo -56% 20 gauge ammo +∞%
43. Montana +434% 5.56×45 ammo +∞% 9mm ammo +∞% 308 Win ammo +∞%
44. Vermont +∞% 223 ammo +∞% 45 LC ammo +∞% 5.56×45 ammo +∞%
45. North Dakota +49% 5.56×45 ammo +∞% 308 Win ammo +∞% 223 ammo +∞%
46. South Dakota +38% 223 ammo +57% 40 cal ammo +∞% 17 HMR ammo +∞%

All increases with +∞% signify that there were no previous sales recorded for the state (i.e. Vermont) or caliber to that state (i.e. 223 ammo sales to Iowans) for comparison. It should be noted that due to city and state laws, does not ship ammunition to AlaskaHawaiiMassachusettsCalifornia, Washington, D.C., New York City, or Chicago.

Caliber Breakdown of Ammo Sale Increases Due to Coronavirus

When it comes to the calibers of ammunition Americans are buying, our data shows the following increases:

While we always strive to provide the best customer service and shopping experience possible, we have experienced a delay in our normal processing procedure. Instead of same-day shipping, it’s taking an average of two to three business days to completely process, package, and ship items. We at thank you for your patience.

New? Good grief.
We had the 320 in the Army inventory over 10 years ago.

New Marine Grenade Launchers Get Rave Reviews After Field Tests

In its quest to be more lethal than America’s adversaries, the Marine Corps is rolling out a new grenade launcher.

The M320A1 has a range of 150 meters on a single target, which might be a window, and a 350-meter maximum range on an area target, according to The Washington Times.

The new grenade launcher can be used by itself or mounted onto another weapon, such as the M27 rifle.

The new grenade launcher will allow Marines to lob 40-millimeter projectiles at an enemy in either day or night, according to a news release from Marine Corps Systems Command.

The weapon is being issued to Marines from the II Marine Expeditionary Force at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and is expected to go service-wide by 2024.

HandguardM-LOK® Attachment Slots
Weight5.2 lb.
Barrel Length6.50″
Overall Length16.50″
Stock OptionTakedown

Barrel FeatureThreaded
Thread Pattern1/2″-28
Barrel MaterialAlloy Steel
Barrel FinishBlued

Receiver MaterialAluminum Alloy
Receiver FinishType III Hard-Coat Anodized
Twist1:10″ RH
Available in CANo
Available in MANo
Suggested Retail$799.00

This is an excellent after action review of a self defense shooting.
Multiple lessons to be learned. Watch the whole thing, please.
Note: at 1:01 in the initial replay, the store owner/shooter pops one off as the bad guy just exits the store. Unintentional due to adrenaline rush, or not? I don’t know.
Correia neglects to mention it, and it is barely noticeable so I’ll give him a pass, but it needed to be mentioned. If the owner had continued shooting and shot the guy to rags just after he had hit the floor from being shot the first time, it’s highly likely nothing there would have been no repercussions as while the bad guy may not have the gun in his hand, it’s still in easy reach and as there has been shots exchanged, there’s no doubt he had murderous intent. Just me, I think that’s what I would have done, but -again-that’s just me. Shooting him as a ‘parting gift’ as he runs out the door is, how shall I put it; problematical.

Boom: FBI gun checks surge 30% amid Biden, Bloomberg gun grab threats

FBI gun background checks required in most weapon sales have jumped 30% as consumers have rushed in to gun stores and shows to load up amid threats from Democratic presidential candidates to end sales and safety concerns as the coronavirus spreads.

Background checks in January and February recorded the highest number ever for the period, said the FBI. In just two months, there have been 5,505,169 checks. Last year, there were 4,218,980 background checks in January and February.

If the trend continues the way arms industry officials expect, 2020 will record the most-ever checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, at over 30 million.

UPS worker who threatened mass shooting had 20,000 rounds of ammunition, small arsenal, say police
Thomas Andrews was found with 20,000 rounds of ammunition and several guns.

20,ooo?  Thems rookie numbers.

A California UPS worker who threatened to carry out a mass shooting at his employer’s premises had multiple tactical rifles and 20,000 rounds of ammunition at his home when it was raided by police.

Thomas Andrews, 32, of Sunnyvale, California, was reported to police on March 1 for sending threatening text messages to his employer, saying that he was planning a mass shooting at the UPS facility in the city, according to a statement from the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety.

“He alluded to a mass shooting in his text messages,” Sunnyvale police Capt. Dan Pistor told the Associated Press. “I definitely think we avoided a tragedy.”

Officers began searching for Andrews that day, who they had discovered was the registered owner of four handguns and a rifle. Shortly after 11 p.m. that evening, officers spotted Andrews driving and attempted to pull him over, but he fled, leading officers into a pursuit on Highway 101.


Trijicon VCOG

The U.S. Marine Corps this month selected Wixom, Michigan’s Trijicon to supply the service’s new Squad Common Optic.

The Marines describe the SCO as a “magnified day optic that improves target acquisition and probability-of-hit with infantry assault rifles.” Using a variable power non-caliber-specific reticle with an illuminated or nonilluminated aim-point, users can identify their targets from farther distances than the current RCO standard– the Trijicon ACOG 4×32.

“The SCO supplements the attrition and replacement of the RCO Family of Optics and the Squad Day Optic for the M27, M4 and M4A1 weapon platforms for close-combat Marines,” said Tom Dever, interim team lead for Combat Optics at Marine Corps Systems Command.

The glass selected for the SCO program is Trijicon’s VCOG 1-8×28. The waterproof (to 66 feet) optic has a 7075-T6 aluminum housing and a first focal plane reticle that allows subtensions and drops to remain true at any magnification.

Today, February 27, 1917, Congress Heights District of Columbia

John Moses Browning, with executives of Colt’s Patent Firearms,  demonstrated his working model of the ‘Automatic Rifle‘ to U.S. government leaders and high ranking military officers.

And off we went to the races.

The production version, the Model 1918 was manufactured in sufficient quantity to outfit the U.S. army’s 79th Division for World War 1 combat use in September of that year.


Gun stores, firearm instructors notice number of women buying guns on the rise

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBMA) – New numbers show more women have a gun at home and local gun stores and teachers of firearm classes say they notice the difference.

That study shows, since 2017, the number of women buying guns has been on the rise. Some site social media, but others say now is the time women are taking things into their own hands when it comes to safety.

Boys move over because lately, more girls just wanna have guns!

Mark Whitlock Jr. will tell you. He’s the vice president of Mark’s Outdoor Sports in Vestavia.

Violent Crime Rate Continues to Drop as AR-15 Ownership Rises

Despite some claims to the contrary, the United States is in a solid decline in the violent crime rate over the last couple of years. According to some preliminary data sourced from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, violent crime rates have dropped in the first half of 2019 when compared to the first half of 2018. This is a trend that has continued with consistency since 2017.

Despite ongoing pressure being put on gun owners by various anti-gun organizations, the rate of ownership has continued to rise. In particular, the amount of “sporting rifle” ownership has continued to grow rapidly. Some would have you think that an increase of sporting rifle ownership would lead to higher violent crime rates, however, data shows this is simply not the case.


Violent Crime Rate Continues to Drop as AR-15 Ownership Rises

Violent Crime Rate Continues to Drop as AR-15 Ownership Rises


When looked at through an objective lens, firearms manufacturers and owners are some of the most scrutinized and tested in regards to following the laws and regulations of the land. Both the firearms and ammunition industries have to work with and ultimately cooperate with not only federal agencies but local law enforcement agencies as well to maintain compliance standards.

Violent Crime Rate Continues to Drop as AR-15 Ownership Rises

Violent Crime Rate Continues to Drop as AR-15 Ownership Rises

On that note, as a whole, firearms commerce in the United States has continued to increase since 2013 according to the  Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives. Firearms in the American market are more prevalent than ever despite the declining violent crime rate.

As shown by the above graph, beginning in 2008 and continuing through 2013 there was a sharp rise in the manufacturing of all firearms as a whole. Of significant note, Pistols and Rifles accounted for the majority of the firearms made, which would include AR-15’s or “sporting rifles”. What’s even more interesting is the drastic record-breaking 11,497,441 firearms manufactured in 2016.

To further back up the notion that an increase in firearms would not be responsible for an increase in violent crime, John Hopkins University just concluded a study that shows that there is no evidence to suggest that “Assault Weapon” bans would reduce mass shooting events.


I can’t remember if I posted this drill too.

Federal Air Marshal Qualification: Test Your CCW Skills

Armed citizens with concealed-carry permits who want to evaluate or increase their skill levels often focus on one of the various law-enforcement-qualification courses as a guide. All can be valid skill checks as far as shooting goes, but one drawback for civilians is that many such courses involve the use of an exposed duty holster and include targets at ranges out to 25 yards (or more), neither of which is something the overwhelming majority of self-defense scenarios for us regular folks will entail.

One notable exception is the Tactical Pistol Course (TPC). Commonly called the “old Air Marshal (FAM) course,” it was created for Federal Air Marshals in 1992. In cooperation with the Office of Civilian Airline Security, it was developed by a private instructor in the Fort Bragg, NC, area who routinely taught skills to certain units based at that facility. It eventually became the qualification course for all Federal Air Marshals. Those who passed it received their flying orders. Those who failed went back for more training. It was not an easy course. In fact, when senior officers from the Joint Special Operations Command attended and reviewed the course in 1998, their opinion was that those passing the TPC were among the top one-percent of pistol shooters in the world.

The TPC qualification course demands speed, accuracy and advanced gun-handling at close range. That’s obviously an important skill for an Air Marshal, who may have to engage an armed terrorist in the crowded confines of an aircraft cabin or a bustling airport-passenger terminal. Speed is critical, and errant rounds could be catastrophic. It also must be accomplished from concealment, since Air Marshals wear civilian clothing to blend in with passengers.

The situations confronting Air Marshals are actually quite similar to those an armed citizen might experience in an assault (or active shooter situation) in a crowded mall, restaurant, theater or other public venue. Speed can be critical, and errant rounds are ultimately the responsibility of the concealed carrier firing them. That makes the “old TPC Air Marshal qualification course” an excellent training regimen for civilian carriers.

The course consists of seven individual stages, which have to be shot “cold”—no warm up shots before the course—just like in a real-world defensive scenario. Each stage stresses an important close-range, defensive-handgun skill set, and each can be practiced individually. The course is geared toward semi-automatic handguns carried by Air Marshals, but five of the seven stages are equally applicable to five- or six-shot, compact revolvers. All stages are fired at 7 yards, and the full course requires only 30 rounds. The target used is listed as the FBI-QIT-97, which is a bottle-shaped silhouette with an inner-scoring zone. Five of the seven stages use a single target, while one stage uses two and one uses three.

The targets are scored as follows: Hits in the inner bottle count five points. Hits outside the inner bottle, but within the outer bottle count two points. A target miss is zero points. The maximum score is 150 (30 rounds in the inner bottle), and a passing score is 135×150. If the FBI-QIT-97 target is not available, the standard silhouette target used by the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) and available at many gun clubs could be used. The scoring will not be the same, but any shooter who only lets a half-dozen rounds wander into the C-Zone can consider themselves close enough.

(l.) Unlike other qualification courses, the TPC course is shot at 7 yards, which might seem rather close at first, but speed and adrenaline ramp up the difficulty factor quite a bit. (r.) Since shooting quickly is of such vital importance for qualifying in this course, having a shot timer and a partner to run it are critical to properly evaluate your success (or to document areas to be improved upon).

At 7 yards this is not a difficult accuracy level to achieve, and even casual shooters could make it, given enough time. But, the TPC course doesn’t allow that luxury. Each of the seven stages has a par time requirement, and regardless of the target score, if the par time is not made, the applicant fails. That immediate pass/fail aspect adds a severe level of stress, adding to the usefulness of the course for self-defense training.

These par times are not generous. They require a focused and competent effort on the shooter’s part. Bobbles, indecision and poor skills won’t create a positive outcome. Such requirements are about as “real-world” as you can get when training on a square range, and they are the main reason the TPC qualification course is considered to be one of the toughest law enforcement qualification courses.

You’ll need a competition-type electronic timer to properly record the par times. Due to the rapid fire and movement needed on two of the stages, some indoor ranges will not allow patrons to shoot those stages. For those who have access to an outdoor range and timer, here is what every Air Marshal had to achieve. And, those same skill sets will benefit any civilian concealed carrier.

Stage 1
From a concealed holster, face a single target at 7 yards. At the start signal, draw and fire one round. Carefully holster and repeat for a total of two single-round strings. The combined time for both strings cannot exceed 3.3 seconds—an average of 1.65 seconds per string.

Those are tight times when drawing from concealment. They are certainly achievable, but not all shooters will be able to make them. For those that don’t, the logical question could be “why?” The answer might involve a re-consideration of the carry position with one’s normal wardrobe, or, possibly, the gun itself, especially the grips. In fact, when I was training up for my first run through the FAM course, I chose to use my everyday carry pistol, a Smith & Wesson M&P9c with the factory 12-round, finger-tip-extension-equipped magazine. My normal EDC carry (in rural Florida) is a strong-side OWB pancake holster under a loose-fitting knit-shirt, with a spare magazine concealed on the weak side. I had used that rig to classify as a Master in the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) Back-Up Gun (BUG) division, so I figured I was good-to-go.

I was wrong. I was failing Stage 1 in practice. I could make the times, but the abbreviated grip did not provide a positive hold for an accurate shot when attempting it at high speed from the holster. I was missing the bottle.

The compact M&P9c accepts the full-size, 17-round magazines of the parent gun. I tried one of those. The extra magazine length gave me a positive hold and didn’t slow the times. I then discovered the larger magazine was no more difficult to conceal than the short one, not to mention the fact that it gave me an extra five rounds. That changed my EDC setup. It was an important lesson learned from Stage 1, which is one of the most-common stages that shooters fail.

Stage 2
From a low ready, face the same single target and, at the start signal, deliver two rounds (as a controlled pair). Repeat this once (two pairs; a total of four rounds). The combined time for both strings cannot exceed 2.7 seconds—an average of 1.35 seconds per string.

This is actually one of the easier stages, at least it is if the shooter knows how to lock their wrists to present the proper sight picture, recover from recoil and quickly find their sights. Shooters may need to re-evaluate the type and color of their sights if they prove hard to find. If the sights are not readily visible, bullet placement can be problematic. Poorly fitting grips can also contribute to inaccurate round placement. “Point shooting” only goes so far, and the FAM course will quickly point out its limitations.

Stage 3
From low ready, fire six rounds into the single target in one rapid and continuous string. This is done once, and the par time is 3 seconds for the six rounds fired.

This stage stresses sight acquisition and recoil control. It is also applicable to revolvers, and the 3-second par time is realistic. Those with five-shot guns will obviously be restricted to only five rounds, but five accurately fired rounds at 7 yards from a lightweight snubby in 3 seconds is certainly excellent shooting.

Stage 4
With a fully loaded handgun, face a single target at 7 yards from low ready. Fire one round, reload, then fire one more. Repeat for two strings and four rounds total. The par time for the four rounds is 6.5 seconds—an average of 3.25 seconds per run.

This stage stresses what is commonly known as a “speed reload.” Dump the partially expended magazine from the gun and quickly get a full one in. It’s a valuable skill if a shooter expends rounds in a protracted event and is unsure of how many remain in the gun, though stopping most criminal assaults will likely not require you to reload. Topping off quickly is an excellent idea, especially for subcompact semi-automatics with their reduced capacities. Given the quick par time, this is not applicable to revolvers (unless your name is Jerry Miculek).

If your range allows, the various stages should be shot from concealment.

Stage 5

From low ready, fire one round each at two targets spaced 3 yards apart. Repeat this once for a total of four rounds in two strings. The combined par time for both strings cannot exceed 3.3 seconds—an average of 1.65 seconds per string.

Stage 6

Three targets are placed 3 yards apart. The shooter starts from the holster under a concealment garment, facing up range with their back to the targets. At the start signal, turn, draw and place one round into each target. Repeat this for a total of six rounds. The shooter will be required to turn to their right for one string and to their left for the other. The total par time for both strings cannot exceed 7 seconds—an average of 3.5 seconds per string.

Stage 7

Load one round into the chamber, leaving the empty magazine in the gun. From a standing low ready, fire one round. The slide locks back. Drop to one knee, reload and fire one more round. Repeat for two, two-round strings. The total time cannot exceed 8 seconds—a 4-second average per string.

This stage simulates a protracted engagement where the gun is shot empty and stresses a quick reload while altering your target profile. It’s a valuable skill for those carrying compact, low-capacity semi-automatics, but it is not particularly well-suited for those who carry revolvers, even larger-frame models with six-round cylinders.

If the TPC/FAM sounds tough, it is. In fact, it is tough enough that when the Federal Air Marshal Service expanded rapidly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, many of the new applicants could not pass it. The qualification course was then changed to a more-standard, FBI-type PPC course. However, many veteran Air Marshals continued to shoot the TPC for practice. They wanted to maintain that top-one-percent status. Any civilian concealed-carrier who can pass the TPC can consider themselves to be in that class.


Dot-Torture Drill Revised

For about the last 5 years or so the popular Dot-Torture drill and target have been showing up in a multitude of defensive courses, both introductory and advanced in nature. If you aren’t familiar with this routine, it is a simple 50-round defensive pistol drill that incorporates nearly every aspect of using a gun for self-defense. While the program encourages a smooth draw, transition and trigger squeeze, it has two fundamental flaws:

  1. There is no time limit.
  2. The targets are incorrect with respect to their application.

Not having a time limit just isn’t realistic. The maneuvers that are being taught (or perfected) need to be performed under stress, as someday your life may even depend on them. Perfect sight picture is seldom a part of shooting on the move, or in unorthodox positions. This leads me to my second point-improper target style. Standard Dot Torture utilizes a series of small, round, bullseye-style targets. The problem here is that these are intended for, well, bullseye shooting. These targets command perfect sight alignment, sight picture and nothing short of a perfect trigger squeeze. Again these are all fundamentals that take a backseat in life or death scenarios and even the practical shooting sports to some extent. So what takes the front seat then? Well, I believe it is speed.

A few years back, I got together with some of my top instructors and re-evaluated the traditional Dot-Torture drill. We kept what we loved and changed what we didn’t to produce a version of this drill that would be more relevant to defensive shooting. Essentially we kept the same routines, but instead of the classic 10-dot target, we subbed in a standard IPSC silhouette at a fixed distance of 7 yards. If IDPA is your sport of choice those targets are easily adopted as well. The major change comes in our scoring system. Our drill is based on the same 50-round count, but instead of having to maintain a 100-percent hit rate, you need to make the time requirements for each repetition to be valid. Hits also have a quality rating on our version, as you can only reach your top score if you consistently hit in the A-zone(s). For each shot in the center A-zone, the shooter will receive two points and one point for each hit in the C-zone. Zero points are awarded for D-zone hits and unintentional headshots.

So let’s begin with the first drill, which is designed as a warm-up. On the original, the start position was from the low ready and on command five well-placed rounds were to be applied to target number one. We kept this the same except from an audible start tone the shooter must place those same five rounds into the center A-zone in under 7 seconds. If the shooter doesn’t get all five off in that time period they receive a zero……there’s your stress factor.

The second drill is fired on target #2 and is one simple shot from the holster, repeated five times. This is exactly how it goes in the original as well, except in ours the student has 2.5 seconds to get out of the holster and score a center A-zone hit. Each attempt that is outside of that time allowance doesn’t count towards their score, no matter how accurate.

The third drill is the first drill where the shooter is tested on their transitioning skills. The original dot requires a holstered start and a single shot to target #3 and then a single shot on target #4. This is to be repeated four times. Our full-sized dot torture carries this same routine but instead of two dots, we utilize the center A-zone and the A-zone in the head portion of our IPSC target. The shooter is allowed 4.5 seconds for each attempt.

Drill number four is a strong-hand-only drill, just the same as in the original. Again the shooter will start from the holstered position. Once the buzzer goes off they have 15 seconds to get out of their holster and get those same five rounds off. Just like drill number one five alphas are worthless unless they are all in on time. This also introduces the shooter to decision making under stress—“Should I yank the trigger and lose a point to keep the eight I already have?”

I consider our fifth drill to be the biggest improvement over the original Dot-Torture version, as it not only utilizes the proper target, but the proper approach as well. If you aren’t familiar with the original I am talking about the double-tap drill. In the original version, shooters had to place two shots on target #6 and then immediately place two shots on target #7….tiny target #6…..and tiny target #7. Double tapping a target isn’t about having a perfect sight picture. In fact, that second shot should be delivered with absolutely no sight picture at all. Slowing down to find your sights to score a hit on your second shot isn’t the performance of a successful double-tap, it’s just two well-placed shots kinda quick. So again we use the center mass area and the head of the target and allow the students to get their four rounds downrange in 8 seconds. Here the focus is on proper indexing and follow-through, not sight picture.

The second to last drill is weak hand only. Our only change is the addition of a 25-second time limit. This is certainly obtainable and designed to swiftly change gears on the shooter, forcing them to use their sights and pay attention to their trigger control once again. Those shooters who find themselves in trouble on stages that go from CQB-type targets to plates at 35 yards will find this drill very helpful as long as it is immediately preceded by the one prior to it.

And wrapping it up is the reload and transition drill. Just like the original, we transition after the reload, except it follows our pattern of starting center mass and transition to the head. We allow 7 seconds for each run to be valid for score. This is even enough time for the revolver crowd to dig out their speedloader and refill the ol’ wheelgun, or at least realize why they need to go out and buy one.

When you have finished the drill you will have fired 50 rounds, if you did it perfectly you should have scored 100 percent. This, of course, poses the follow-up question of “Then what?” Well, cut your time allowances in half. In fact, every time you graduate cut it in half again. The beauty of this math is that meeting the next milestone is much easier than meeting the one prior to it. Getting drill #1 down to 3.5 seconds from 7 seconds is tough, but getting it down to 1.75 from 3.5 is much less of a jump. This routine promotes steady growth and keeps a developing shooter optimistic as they improve.

So next time you are looking to get someone into their first routine for defensive or practical competitive shooting, consider this drill. We utilize it in Renaissance Firearms Instruction as it starts them on the right foot without contradicting some key principals in pistol shooting. A free download of these instructions overlaid on the original dot torture is available in the printable targets section at With that, all you need is a standard IPSC target and one lonely box of ammunition to train as you fight.

Henry Repeating Arms Donates Rifles, Raises Almost $80,000 for Children with Cancer

The Imperato family show what real ‘citizenship’ is.

Henry Repeating Arms Donates Rifles, Raises Almost $80,000 for Children with Cancer

Henry Repeating Arms designated 126 specialty-made rifles for charity to raise money for two children with cancer and brought in nearly $80,000.

Henry reports that the official figure is $78,250.

On January 3, 2020, Breitbart News reported that Henry had designed two rifles that would be sold in two batches, the first of which had already been sold at the time of the Breitbart report and the second of which was being manufactured for sale just weeks after the report ran.

One of the rifles is called “Sweet Sadie.” It is a lever-action .22 s/l/lr with engravings that are “hand-painted pink” for Sadie Kreinbrink, a three-year-old girl from Ostrander, Ohio, who has Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma. Her treatment includes over a year of chemotherapy.

The second rifle is called “Beat It Like Beckett,” a lever action with “a large loop lever, a brushed metal receiver cover, and a 17” blued steel octagon barrel,” designed to raise money for four-year-old Beckett Burge.

Beckett is from Princeton, Texas. He has leukemia and is undergoing “rigorous treatment.”

Henry Repeating Arms was able to give the Burge family $35,525 and the Kreinbrink family $45,725 from the sale of the rifles.

Henry president Anthony Imperato commented, saying, “We are so thrilled with our fans and everyone that chose to support the Kreinbrink and Burge family by purchasing one of these rifles. It’s initiatives like this that have the potential to show the media and the rest of the world how great of an industry our firearms industry is.

He added, “Firearms manufacturers tend to get a black eye by the media more often than not, so this along with all of our other Guns For Great Causes campaigns should go to show all the good we can do.”