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Value in Tactics

If you’ve trained with InSights, you understand our focus on tactics. Tactics are far more important than Skill or Equipment and, in fact, are only second to Mindset.

Most of our students have moved beyond thinking that the equipment (gun, knife, pepper spray, etc) is what will make the difference between winning and losing. They realize that equipment alone, without the knowledge and skill to effectively use it, is no guarantee of a successful outcome. Thus, tactics emerges as the true deciding factor of how a defensive encounter will end.

Realize, however, that both sides of the confrontation are employing tactics and that the bad guys may be well practiced in theirs.

Because most tactics don’t lend themselves to be taught via a blog post or Facebook page, we’re going to focus on the objective of tactics instead.

A quote many of our students have likely heard while training with us, is “you don’t win gunfights by shooting the other guy… you win gunfights by not getting shot.” The overall objective of tactics is to minimize the assailant’s ability to harm you while maximizing your ability to bring to bear on him the force necessary cause him to break off his attack.

If the threat stops with awareness and avoidance tactics, that’s the best outcome you can ask for… frankly, it’s ideal! If, however, it involves de-escalation and/or eventual disengagement (the disengagement phase includes unarmed or armed physical force), then the tactics behind your layered personal protection system become invaluable.

The more you can shift the advantage toward your favor, the greater position you’re in to achieve a successful outcome. So, instead of spending all your energy trying to decide what gun in what caliber you should carry for self defense… train in tactics, and then leverage them to your greatest advantage.

Stay Safe!

Content by John Holschen
Written by Doug Marcoux

Drawing from Concealment

Tactical Moment

You may have seen the Tactical Moment video series on Guns & Tactics Magazine, which features John Holschen demonstrating personal defense skills and techniques which may prove useful in a life-threatening situation or attack. John does a great job of presenting accurate information which gives viewers a glimpse into the training available here at InSights Training Center.

In the previous episode, John demonstrated how to draw from concealment when wearing a front-opening garment. In the latest episode, he demonstrates a technique for drawing from concealment when wearing a bottom-opening garment.

Tactical Moment is filmed on location at http://www.westcoastarmory.com

Tactical Moment on Facebook: https://facebook.com/tacticalmoment

Visit http://www.gunsandtactics.tv or more videos!

Blast Injuries Care is now in Tactical First Aid

InSights Training Center has added Blast Injuries Care to the Tactical First Aid class. The next opportunity to take this class with InSights instructor Mike Shertz M.D. is May 4, 2013.

Following recent events we are reminded that we need to be prepared for injuries occurring to yourself and/or others during an active fight situation. InSights has expanded the Tactical First Aid curriculum to now include caring for blast-injuries.

Most penetrating injuries are not immediately life-threatening. However, there are some injuries where death before the arrival of EMS is almost assured if not quickly and effectively managed.

Our 1 day Tactical First Aid class is designed to give you the knowledge and skill to identify and manage those immediately life-threatening injuries, whether they occur to you or another individual, while you are still engaged in the violent attack.

Dr. Mike Shertz is an active, board certified emergency medicine physician practicing in one of the busiest emergency departments in Oregon. His tactical experience was gained as a former US Army Special Forces Medic. He is a Special Deputy for the Washington County, Oregon Tactical Negotiations Team (S.W.A.T.) where he is the medical director as well as being actively involved in tactical operations. Mike serves as the medical director for a large fire department in Oregon. He is an Advanced Cardiac Life Support Instructor, a Federal NBC Disaster Preparedness Instructor, and has attended the Counter Narcotics Tactical Operations Medical Support Course.

Shotguns: So many choices…

“Buy a shotgun… buy a shotgun,” he said. Well, ok… but if you’re considering using it for personal defense, skip the double-barreled models.

So, what DO you look for in a defensive shotgun?

First, start with a pump-action 12 gauge or a 20 gauge for smaller-framed people. Better to be able to control it than to exchange accuracy and speed for a higher projectile count per round fired. Next, it needs to hold a sufficient quantity of rounds – typically 6 or more in the magazine tube. You don’t need to add any of the quad-rotating magazines or odd after-market magazines to it… just get your shotgun with a magazine barrel that is flush with, or extends slightly past, the 18″ barrel.

InSights’ chief instructor, Greg Hamilton, recommends the Remington 870 police model with 18″ barrel, full magazine tube, and Ghost Ring sights. The Remington 11-87 police model also works for those who don’t want a pump.

Now, what else should you have on your shotgun?

For more rounds, your shotgun will need to accommodate some sort of side-saddle. Preferably set it up with one of the Velcro-backed options and use tabs that hold 4-6 shells. If you can make your tabs the size of standard 30-round AR mags they will store easily in your gear. You also need to add a sling which can be anything from a simple carry-strap to your favorite tactical sling. Finally, your defensive shotgun should have a good light on it that emits 200 lumens or more, and Wilson Combat sights or Ghost Ring sights.

A standard stock is generally best, but a shorter stock may be well advised for some people. Do not replace the stock with a pistol-grip style and, while after-market accessories are plentiful, generally avoid them. Remember, perfection isn’t reached when there is nothing left to add, it’s reached when there is nothing left to take away.

As with any self-defense tool, training with a shotgun is very important. Contrary to common belief, you DO still have to aim with a shotgun because at defensive distances the pattern of the projectiles is only several inches in diameter. Also, as is for all firearms, malfunctions and failures happen and you must be able to effectively and efficiently clear them to keep your weapon functional. Similarly, the ability to reload effectively, while under stress and moving, and transitioning between shotgun and pistol are also important skills to have.

Given the current situation with handgun and rifle ammunition costs still being high, now is a great time to be training with your shotgun. Bird shot, buck shot, and slugs are all all available and have remained relatively affordable throughout the present inflation of ammunition prices.

So, sure… “buy a shotgun.” Just be sure to save the double-barreled models for the skeet range and keep your tactical shotgun for personal defense.

Stay Safe!

Content by Greg Hamilton
Written by Doug Marcoux

Tactical First Aid

It’s a beautiful Saturday morning and you’re headed out to do something fun with your family or friends. You know that it’s unlikely the bad guy will come today, but you have your daily carry gear anyway… and, likewise, you put your seat belt on even though you know it’s also unlikely you’ll be in a car crash.

Unfortunately, it turns out that today IS that day, and as you scan the scene you find someone you’re with has been shot… and now you’re actively engaged in a gun fight.

It’s your move.

A tactical first aid kit should be part of your daily carry gear and the tactics and skills needed to deploy it effectively should be in your toolbox. It’s important to know the realities of civilian gunshot wounds and how to handle them. Most penetrating injuries are not immediately life-threatening but there are some injuries where death can occur before the fire department responds if they’re not managed properly and quickly.

However, considering you’re actively engaged in a gun fight, treatment is going to be much different than if the injured person was in a hospital. Generally, you don’t treat under fire. The first step is to neutralize the threat to prevent further harm to victims and rescuers. The next step is to have the injured individual move to a defensible position or move them if they’re unable to do so under their own power.

Once the threat is removed, the patient is in a safe place, and 911 has been activated, the most important thing to do is to stop critical bleeding. Immediate stoppage of bleeding may make the difference between living and dying. For major bleeding tourniquets may be the answer and, if so, they need to be applied immediately. Hence, they’re one item which should be part of your daily-carry kit once you obtain appropriate training in their use. There are many necessary tools and supplies to carry as the variety of wound possibilities requires a variety of treatment options. Yet, at the same time, it’s not practical to carry around the entire Harborview ER on your back so we must optimize our kit to treat what we need to while being able to carry it. No different from a handgun – if it’s too large and/or uncomfortable to carry, it’s unlikely you’ll carry it… and it doesn’t do you any good if you don’t have it when you need it.

In sum, tactical first aid is an aspect of training and daily carry gear which is commonly overlooked. Just like a tactical flashlight, the daily-carry medical kit is a piece of gear you may use frequently. Fortunately, a tourniquet isn’t likely to be needed very often, but there are other items that may be. Just remember to restock your kit when you use something from it. Prepared parents are well-served to stock up on Elmo bandages in addition to the trauma supplies. They don’t take up much room or add weight, and every parent out there knows what can come following the statement, “watch this!”

There is obviously much more to care under fire than we can cover in a blog post. To learn more, our next Tactical First Aid course will be taught by Dr. Mike Shertz on May 4th.

Content by Greg Hamilton
Written by Doug Marcoux