Renewing your Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons

With renewals for the Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons fast approaching in the next year, we have scheduled a variety of courses to meet your training needs.  Most of our courses are 4-hrs in length to more easily accommodate busy schedules, additionally we also offer the live-fire re-qualification session which takes about an hour, as well as full-day courses for students who want/need more training.

The renewal permit requires that the applicant complete training or re-qualify – please read IA Code 724.9 & 724.11 –  https://www.legis.iowa.gov/DOCS/ACO/IC/LINC/Chapter.724.pdf

Training or live-fire re-qualification must take place within 12 months of the permit expiring.  Furthermore, applicants must apply at least 30 days prior to the permit expiring – I recommend applying 6 weeks before your permit expires.  This gives you about a 10 month window to complete your training.  If your permit expires March 2, 2016 for example, complete you training prior to the middle of January, and consider applying for your renewal permit before the end of January. This will ensure that your renewal application is processed before your permit expires.

We will schedule additional courses and frequently run private training courses for our students.  For additional information about any of our training options we are just a phone call or email away and we look forward to answering your questions – darin@cwrfirearmstraining.com / 5l5-23l-3887

Sights, Sights, Sights – Thoughts on defensive sights

A student called to ask what my thoughts were related to sights for a home defense pistol.  He asked what I thought about tritium night sights, fiber optic sights, and gold bead sights for his pistol.  He planned to equip the pistol with a rail mounted light, which can be a very useful tool (see post on weapon mounted lights).  Fiber optic and brass dot sights are designed for competition shooting, which is traditionally held in a bright environment, though occasionally, there are low light defensive pistol matches.

Standard 3-dot hortizontal tritium sight

Standard 3-dot hortizontal tritium sight

For a defensive pistol, it is hard to beat tritium sights.  Small, tritium inserts which glow in the dark, help an armed officer or law abiding citizen acquire their sights under reduced light and no light conditions.  Clearly there are situations where a person will not use their sights (instinctive shooting), but tritium sights give you an option that traditional sights do not.  Made by several manufacturers, the two brands of tritium sights that I prefer are the Heinie Straight Eight LEDGE sight and the XS 24/7 Express Sights.

Heinie Straight Eight

Heinie Straight Eight

Richard Heinie makes some of the best sights on the market.  They are high quality, precise sights and are worth the money.  Having carried various pistols over the years, I‘m familiar with the traditional Trijicon tritium 3-dot sight. This sight requires the shooter to line up the 3 tritium lamps horizontally with the front sight dot between the two rear dots.  These sights work fine and are very common. The Heinie Straight Eight is a vertical sight.  There are only two tritium lamps in this design.  The shooter “stacks” the two dots to line them up, giving the appearance of an “8”, hence the name “Straight Eight”.  Heinie builds excellent target sights; the Straight Eight night sights are high quality target sights that have tritium inserts added.  Additionally, sharp edges that are common to match sights are not present on Heinie defensive sights.  This allows the shooter to quickly load, reload, and clear stoppages without the added risk of injury to the support hand.

XS Express 24/7 Sight

XS Express 24/7 Sight

Similar to the Heinie Straight Eights, the XS Sights 24/7 Express Sights utilize a vertical sight alignment.  The Express Sights incorporate a “Big Dot” Tritium or “Standard Dot” Tritium front sight with a vertical tritium “post”.  This is one of the best “flash” sights on the market for day light engagements, and an excellent setup for low light environments.  The Express sight also offers a low profile, snag-free design that reduces the likelihood of injuring the support hand, while allowing the shooter to use the rear sight as a slide-racker during incapacitation drills/incidents. Personally, I prefer the “regular” dot to the “Big” dot, but that is simply my preference.

Tritium Fiber Optic - TFO

Tritium Fiber Optic – TFO

One additional sight that I wanted to mention is the Truglo TFO or Tritium Fiber Optic Sight.  Years ago when fiber optic sights first hit the market, I put a set on a Glock 22 that I used for IDPA.  I loved how quickly I could acquire those sights. They weren’t quite as accurate as I wanted, but they were fast for the 5-10 yard scenarios.  My daily carry pistol back then was a Glock 23.  I had factory Glock Trijicon tritium night sights on it which were fine in low light, but I wanted the same “glow” that I had at night, during the day.  I discovered the TFO sights and quickly bought a set and mounted them to my G23.  They took a bit of getting used to, but they turned out to be good all-day sights.  The only drawback was the length of the front sight.  The design of the sight put a fiber optic rod in front of a tritium lamp.  During normal light the fiber optic rod would glow from ambient light.  During low light conditions it would transmit the tritium glow.  The issue was that the front sight was nearly an inch long, which meant that the effective sight radius was reduced by nearly an inch. On a Glock 23 that’s almost a 20 percent reduction in sight radius, which equates to a less accurate pistol.  This is simply a tradeoff.  You are trading the ability to shoot a little more accurately in one lighting condition for the ability to acquire your sights faster (or simply acquire them at all) in all lighting conditions.  To that end, I like the TFO sights; they serve their purpose well.

In the end, the sight you choose should be one that works well for you. Most factory sights are simple and get the job done, but leave something to be desired.  When changing a sight, it is important to have it installed by a competent gunsmith or armorer, and to benchrest the pistol to ensure the sights are zeroed for you.  Finally, it is very easy to get caught up in the “equipment race” trying to find that perfect sight that will prevent you from ever missing.  Remember most shooters need practice, not new equipment.  It takes a lot of work to develop the ability to out-shoot a stock defensive pistol.  Invest in good quality equipment and then safely practice with your equipment to develop this life-saving skill.

What are you looking for in a training course?

Over the years we’ve run several different classes based on what we believe students will benefit most from regardless of their skill level. Since 2011 we’ve been very busy with our Iowa Permit to Carry classes, which affect how often we can run other classes. This year we cut back on permit to carry classes and offered more instructor courses and more shooting classes, the biggest increase was in private training lessons (one-on-one). As we’ve worked with different students we’ve learned more about what students are looking for. I want to know – what you are looking for in a training course? Do you want more information or more skill development? Do you want a 4 hour class, a 1 day class or a multi-day class? Are you interested in low light training, in force-on-force training, on edged-weapon defense, on ground fighting and weapon retention? Do you want defensive rifle, shotgun, and pistol courses or simply basic courses? Would you be interested in a course on competitive shooting? Please use the “comment” feature and let me know what you are looking for in a training course or courses and we will do our best to offer these courses.

Thanks for your continued support!

Defensive Pistol 1 – Saturday July 14

Defensive Pistol 1 – 9:00am-5:00pm – Saturday July 14 at the Boone County Sportsmens Club 

Our Defensive Pistol series courses are designed to help students develop their “gunfighting” skills; clearly not with the intent of being in a “gunfight”, but with the hope that if not able to avoid such a conflict, they prevail.  In truth, “gun-fighting” is based on solid fundamentals; regardless of age or gender, these skills are rooted in the basics of marksmanship coupled with basic principles of “fighting” – posture, breathing, relaxation, and communication.

This 1 day, range only class is for students who want/need to develop these strong fundamentals.  Initially focusing on the 7 elements of marksmanship – stance, grip, sight alignment, sight picture, trigger press, breathing, and following through – students will develop reliable, combat accuracy.  From there students will build solid, fundamental skills in the following areas:
  • Draws
  • Reloads
  • Malfunction clearance
  • Movement
  • Use of cover & concealment
  • Verbalization / Communication
The mission of CWR Firearms Training is to train our students to continually master the basics.  Defensive Pistol 1 provides responsible citizens with a excellent opportunity to further develop reliable defensive skills and continue on the path of mastering the basics.
Student should bring a reliable center-fire handgun with three magazines or speed loaders, 250 rounds of practice ammunition, strong-side holster, magazine pouch, concealment garment (coat, jacket, vest), cleaning equipment, and eye & ear protection.  The course is limited to 12 students. Cost of the course is $150 and pre-registration is required.
This course is not a basic/introductory marksmanship course; students should be comfortable shooting defensive caliber handguns and have the ability and experience to follow the NRA’s Three Rules for Safe Gun Handling – safety violations on the range will be grounds for immediate dismissal from the course.  Good examples of preparatory courses / experience are the NRA First Steps or Basic Pistol Shooting class, participation in an IDPA/USPSA/Steel Match, or Instructor Discretion.
To register or learn more about this course please call or email Darin – 515-231-3887 / darin@cwrfirearmstraining.com.

Defensive Pistol 1

 

Our Defensive Pistol series courses are designed to help students develop their “gunfighting” skills; clearly not with the intent of being in a “gunfight”, but with the hope that if not able to avoid such a conflict, they prevail.  In truth, “gun-fighting” is based on solid fundamentals; regardless of age or gender, these skills are rooted in the basics of marksmanship coupled with basic principles of “fighting” – posture, breathing, relaxation, and communication.

This 1 day, range only class is for students who want/need to develop these strong fundamentals.  Initially focusing on the 7 elements of marksmanship – stance, grip, sight alignment, sight picture, trigger press, breathing, and following through – students will develop reliable, combat accuracy.  From there students will build solid, fundamental skills in the following areas:
  • Draws
  • Reloads
  • Malfunction clearance
  • Movement
  • Use of cover & concealment
  • Verbalization / Communication
The mission of CWR Firearms Training is to train our students to continually master the basics.  Defensive Pistol 1 provides responsible citizens with a excellent opportunity to further develop reliable defensive skills and continue on the path of mastering the basics.
Student should bring a reliable center-fire handgun with three magazines or speed loaders, 250 rounds of practice ammunition, strong-side holster, magazine pouch, concealment garment (coat, jacket, vest), cleaning equipment, and eye & ear protection.  The course is limited to 12 students. Cost of the course is $150 and pre-registration is required.
This course is not a basic/introductory marksmanship course; students should be comfortable shooting defensive caliber handguns and have the ability and experience to follow the NRA’s Three Rules for Safe Gun Handling – safety violations on the range will be grounds for immediate dismissal from the course.  Good examples of preparatory courses / experience are the NRA First Steps or Basic Pistol Shooting class, participation in an IDPA/USPSA/Steel Match, or Instructor Discretion.
To learn more about this course please email Darin – darin@cwrfirearmstraining.com.

Mindset, Skills, Tactics…

Learning to shoot a firearm accurately is a skill….
Learning to employ a firearm as a self-defense tool is a tactic…
Having the will to fight and the self-confidence & freedom of thought under stress to make critical decisions quickly is mindset…

With the recent adoption of the right to carry language in the new Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons law, many citizens are exercising their rights and obtaining their permit to carry.weapons.  Our goal with training students is not to encourage or discourage citizens to carry firearms; that is a personal choice that involves many responsibilities and possible consequences.  Our goal is to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and attitude needed to avoid dangerous confrontations when possible, and to prevail in a life-threatening encounter when necessary.

To that end please understand that when you learn to shoot you are developing basic skills.  The skill to safely handle a firearm, the skill to manage the fundamental elements of marksmanship in order to accurately hit a target.  The more ingrained these skills are, the faster a shooter is able to successfully apply these skills.  We call this rapid application of basic skills.  When you have the opportunity to watch a master shoot, they are simply applying the same skills that any other shooter must develop, however their focussed practice has allowed them to push much of that skill set from the conscious mind into the subconscious mind allowing them to perform much faster with an incredible level of accuracy.

From a defensive standpoint, being able to rely on the subconscious mind for activities such as keeping the muzzle a safe direction and keeping the finger off the trigger until on target and the decision to shoot has been made, as well as having the subconscious mind to manage the fundamentals of marksmanship, allows the defender to be able to utilize the conscious mind to apply tactics to the situtation.  For instance, if a person has to concentrate to ensure they have the proper grip or that they are pressing the trigger correctly, they are less likely to think about verbalizing with the suspect or to search for and move to cover.

Having the proper attitude toward training and skills development, benefits the shooter through proficient, proper practice.  By taking the time to develop efficient movements, with proper manipulation, grips, sighting, trigger press, following through, etc, the shooter develops excellent foundational skills.  This is the focus of CWR’s training program – the Crawl, Walk, Run methodology. Our goal is not to see how many students we can train, but to see how well we can train our students.  If you have questions about training please let us know.

Best Regards!
CWR

 

Individual Firearms Training Available

Learning to shoot involves various simulanteous actitives. Many new shooters (I was one of them many years ago) develop remedial deficiencies without proper guidance to help them early in the learning process. Our instructors have extensive experience guiding new shooters to help them develop solid, foundational skills from the start. If you are interested in personal firearms training, please call or email.

Thanks!
Darin