Latest F.A.S.T. Wall Inductee

29-Mar-15 – 18:57 by ToddG

Congratulations to Ballistic Radio host J.M. Johnston for earning his place on the F.A.S.T. Wall of Fame this weekend with a 6.73 run!

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG


25-Mar-15 – 03:11 by ToddG

Every time someone visits my site, I make a few pennies. That’s what those ads on the right do.

After a recent explosive “debate” on my Facebook page I have discovered the fastest way to becoming a millionaire.

Glocks are not perfect. They have some design features which are not necessarily ideal. Some people who choose Glocks should have chosen something else. Glocks are not immune to improper handling. Training is required to handle a Glock safely.

And now I’ll just sit back and watch my words turn into cold, hard cash.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG


When You See It

22-Mar-15 – 04:12 by ToddG


Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

Performance Priorities

19-Mar-15 – 01:50 by ToddG

If you’re more concerned with your previous best than what you can deliver right now cold on demand, you’re doing it wrong.

This evening I spent five hours having “dinner” with a very good friend and dedicated active duty military officer who is directly involved in the training of special operations units. Much of our conversation revolved around why it is far more important to train to a standard than chase after personal records while disregarding all the failures along the way.

You shot a 5 second El Presidente today? That’s great. Was it clean or was it just completed in under five seconds? Was it something you can do every time or was it something you managed once out of 20 tries, with the rest being slower, fumbled, laced with multiple misses, etc.?

Can you step up to the line right now, with no preparation, and guarantee you’ll do it clean in under 5 seconds? Because if not, don’t say “I can shoot a 5 second El Prez.” Say, “I once shot a 5 second El Prez.” There’s a difference.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

F.A.S.T. Coins & Langdon Tactical

7-Mar-15 – 14:16 by ToddG

Langdon Tactical, Inc. ( and are excited to announce a new alliance to preserve the F.A.S.T. Coin test into 2015 and beyond.

F.A.S.T. Coins have been a staple of classes and events since 2007, awarded to only the most highly skilled shooters who have been able to prove their on-demand shooting ability by successfully executing a short but comprehensive test. In those years, only ten people have earned Coins.

Ernest Langdon, owner of Langdon Tactical, was selected for this responsibility not only because he himself earned Coin #4 but for his decades of dedication to teaching tactical firearms skills to military, law enforcement, and private citizens as well as the competition skills that won him 10 national shooting championships and 2 world speed shooting titles.

As Todd Louis Green of stated when the agreement was reached, “There is simply no better choice than Ernest when entrusting this legacy for future students of practical pistolcraft. Ernest’s dedication to teaching and his continuing leadership in the firearms industry guarantees that these F.A.S.T. Coins will be in the most capable hands and awarded only when truly earned.”

Langdon Tactical’s F.A.S.T. Coin responsibility will formally begin at the Advanced Tactical Pistol Skills class starting March 11, 2015 in Chino, California.

You can read more about Ernest Langdon’s professional experience at as well as find more information about upcoming Langdon Tactical classes.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

Damsel in Distress

2-Mar-15 – 15:55 by ToddG

About a month ago on I described a scenario I’ve run in Force on Force scenarios many times:

I used to run a pretty straightforward FOF scenario in which the student was standing around minding his own business when a couple walked around the corner. First the guy started calling his gf/wife/whatever a whore and yelling at her about the way she dressed, wore too much make up, etc. Then he’d grab her by the shoulders and shake her a bit and yell more loudly. If the student still did nothing, he’d hit her and knock her to the ground.

At any point, if the student intervened the guy would draw a gun. When the student drew his own, the GF would then draw her pistol from a position off to the side of the student and burn him down. Then the police arrived on scene and both the abuser and GF said the student tried to mug them. The number of students who couldn’t wrap their heads around that (very realistic) turn of events was close to 100%.

ll2Limatunes (aka Melody Lauer) posted her experience from a very similar FOF scenario (NSFW, printed language) being run by Craig “Southnarc” Douglas at this year’s Rangemaster Tactical Conference. Melody goes through every moment and every thought throughout the entire challenging situation.

If you have ever thought about saving the “damsel in distress” then you really need to read Melody’s post and consider how these things tend to end in the real world.

Thanks for taking the time to share all of that with us, Melody.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

Minor Progress

26-Feb-15 – 10:18 by ToddG

Gshock-Burton01_edited-1Finally, after multiple repeated failures, I managed to squeak out an Advanced score on the F.A.S.T. yesterday at the NRA Headquarters Range. I shot three runs at the end of a short practice sessions:

  1. 7.32 (clean / 2.39, .60 / 3.29 / .36, .37, .31)
  2. 7.01 (clean / 2.28, .63 / 2.87 / .42, .35, .36)
  3. 6.62 (clean / 2.23, .72 / 2.70 / .33, .33, .31)

Pistol was the Jason Burton/Heirloom Precision 9mm Commander; holster was a JM Custom Kydex AIWB under an untucked polo; mag pouches were Custom Carry Concepts BMCs.

For comparison, my personal best-of-three F.A.S.T. runs is 3.87 (clean / 1.38, .31 / 1.64 / .18, .19, .17) shooting a gen4 Glock 17. My best 1911 run was 4.27 (clean / 1.36, .33 / 2.04 / .18, .19, .17). So there is still a long, long way to go. My time to the first shot is the biggest slow down at present which means my draw needs a lot of work.



Ballistic Radio Tonight!

15-Feb-15 – 13:44 by ToddG


I’ll be on Ballistic Radio tonight at 7pm. The topic of discussion will be what it’s like losing your shooting ability and what it’s like trying to get it back. Should be a barrel of laughs! Listen in or check out the podcast once it’s up on the ‘net.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

War Belt Meets Dress Belt, pt2

13-Feb-15 – 10:37 by ToddG

A little over a year ago I wrote about a belt system that a friend developed. It’s specifically designed for folks who need to carry a lot of gear in a low-profile environment.

The manufacturer, FirstSpear, has updated the belt’s web page and included some great information and a video specifically about the Tactical Dress Belt. Check it out!

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

Designing Custom Sights

8-Feb-15 – 21:45 by ToddG


One of the best parts about building a pistol from the ground up with Jason Burton was designing a set of truly bespoke sights. Instead of figuring out which set of sights currently on the market that I liked best, I got to tell Jason what I wanted out of a set of sights and he just, you know, built them from scratch.

My goal was pretty straightforward. I wanted high-visibility sights that would allow speed and precision under all possible lighting conditions. For me there were four primary aspects of achieving this:

  1. A permanent orange high-visibility front sight blade that wouldn’t wear off from use or cleaning.
  2. A rear sight notch wide enough to see plenty of “light bar” on either side of the front blade.
  3. 3-dot tritium sights.
  4. A point of impact that corresponded with using the front tritium dot as my point of aim.

So why?

The orange front sight is something I’ve been doing for quite a while now and started out by following John Stewart’s advice from many years ago. The high contrast sight is very easy to pick up quickly and track easily. It stands out clearly when using a so-called “soft front sight focus.” For me at least, it provides most of the benefits of a fiber optic front sight but doesn’t require a lot of light to be useful.

The sight widths are primarily a function of putting a tritium capsule in the front sight and knowing it’s held in place strongly enough to last tens of thousands of rounds of shooting. While narrower rear sights and coming into popularity again, I’ve always liked the balance of speed (gross sight picture) and finesse (finer sight picture) that I can achieve with the wider rear notch. Plenty of people find it easier to align the sights when there is very little extra space between the front post and rear notch. But I’ve never found that to be true. Much like the concept behind ghost ring sights on subguns, carbines, and rifles the eyes tend to center things very naturally. While I may be giving something up in slow fire marksmanship it’s not nearly as important to me (except for bragging rights at the practice range) as being able to make acceptable hits at speed. If that means my slowfire is a little slower than someone else’s I can live with it.

Although I used to be a big fan of 2-dot sights I began gravitating back to the more traditional 3-dot night sight setup after contemplating some of the things that Tim Chandler said in his Handgun Lowlight Essentials write-up a few years ago. The idea behind the 2-dot was that the rear sight was “less busy,” which is technically true. But a 2-dot sight only lets you align the gun horizontally with your eyes. The vertical alignment depends totally on your index (or your guesstimate of the distance between the upper and lower dot). So people sacrifice a true two-dimensional aiming reference under realistic low light conditions to get a little less busy sight picture when it’s daylight bright.

Of course some people eschew tritium on the rear sight at all and insist on using all-black rears because those tiny little capsules are just too darned distracting for them. First of all, I think you’re in trouble if a little blurry dot in your sight picture distracts you so much that you can’t shoot well because — and I’m just going on stories from friends here — being shot at or hit over the head with a baseball is significantly more distracting. Also, there are all sorts of lighting conditions in which having no tritium in your rear sight leaves you with little more than an index and a glowing bouncing ball in space for aiming. The common response is “I’ll have a flashlight” but there are times when you may not want to identify your position with a light though you do still want to aim your gun.

Finally, I use the front dot as my POA/POI because (a) I learned to shoot that way so it’s very natural for me and (b) it means my daylight POA/POI is the same as my lowlight POA/POI. It’s often referred to as “driving the dot” and it just works for me. It requires a little bit of a 3D mental picture when you’re shooting for maximum accuracy at distance but with practice it’s doable. At the end of the day it’s really little different than using a fiber optic or red dot. You put the dot over the spot. Ta-da.

Obviously, given how many different sight designs are on the market there is a wide variety of tastes and needs. Being able to specify exactly what I wanted and then having a set of sights custom built & regulated just for my gun was an experience I’ll greatly miss the next time I have to buy off-the-shelf sights.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

Thanks as always to the Heirloom Project sponsors: