Pistol Magazines

Mag LineupPistol Magazines

This article focuses on one of the pistol’s most overlooked functional components… pistol magazines.  In this article, I will cover a brief history of the magazine followed by a detailed description of magazine components and conclude with tips for magazine maintenance.

So why dedicate an entire article to pistol magazines?  Well, two decades of competition shooting and on deployments around the globe have convinced me that the magazine is the leading cause of mechanical malfunctions in semi-automatic pistols (and rifles).  Sure, there are other components like the extractor and ejector that vie for the top prize, but most would agree that the detachable box magazine is the clear winner.  Furthermore, as a recreational shooter and firearms instructor, I’ve observed many gun owners reveling in their ability to clean and maintain their firearms while neglecting the magazines.  If you are not yet convinced, here are two more reasons: (1) … Read more »

Diagnosing Pistol Malfunctions – Part I: Failure to Feed

FTF1Diagnosing Pistol Malfunctions – Part I: Failure to Feed

Whether on the range or via e-mail, I receive a lot of questions regarding pistol malfunctions.  These questions go beyond discussing the skills required to clear malfunctions.  They are geared more toward understanding “what” makes their pistol malfunction and what can be done to prevent the malfunction, rather than just relying on corrective actions alone.  There is a lot of material to cover in regard to diagnosing pistol malfunctions, so I’ll break the topic into a three-article series.  In general, there are three main types of malfunctions: (1) failure to feed; (2) failure to fire; and (3) failure to extract/eject.  This first article: “Diagnosing Pistol Malfunction – Part I” will provide an in-depth discussion on failure to feed.

Cycle of Operations

I chose failure to feed since it is arguably the start of the cycle of operations.  Internal Ballistics Part IRead more »

Improving your trigger control one finger at a time

Exercise your fingers to improve trigger control

aegis academy, trigger control, firearms instructor, pistol shootingEarlier this year, I added yet another part of my aging body to the list of hurts and complaints. My wrists began to feel stiff and painful, and I had to admit that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome apparently is a real thing. I am already challenged by a set of appendages that are notoriously short with rather svelte paws. I have significantly damaged both hands in my career, my left hand goes numb regularly from scar tissue and the fingers can barely turn a key. My dominant hand was broken twice and I am sure a career playing piano is not going to be in my future. You may be asking yourself why is this relevant to firearms?

Our fingers, especially their ability to smoothly pull the trigger without disturbing the sights, are hugely important in becoming accurate shooters. Unless you’re a rock climber … Read more »

Red Dot Optics

red dot optics, aegis academy, chris white, firearms instructor, firearms training, pistol shootingThe evolution of optics

To understand how Red Dot Optics became the must have, high speed-low drag accessory for your weapon, we first must understand the shortcomings of traditional iron sights.

Iron sights have been around since the very beginning of firearms, but the biggest drawback is the shooters ability to quickly find the target and align both sights with his eye, manipulate a mechanical safety/trigger system and engage, this is usually done with your non-shooting eye closed. Works great at longer ranges with time, but add a much closer or moving target and low light into the mix and it gets very hard without years of proper training. As the modern battlefield became much more urbanized and Close Quarter Combat (CQC) became the norm, it was obvious that old school iron sights would not lend themselves to the new tactics being developed for this type of combat.

The optics … Read more »

Should a nine-year-old girl shoot an Uzi?

Should a nine-year-old girl shoot an Uzi?

Shooting Instructor Killed-Uzi-nine year old girl copy  I’ve had a number of phone calls and emails about this tragic incident asking questions about what happened, should it have been prevented and the like.  First off I have no access to any information that has not been reported by the media. I have nothing but a lifetime of experience teaching firearms skills, on which to base the following opinions.

This week at a shooting range in Arizona, a nine-year-old girl shot the instructor she was working with in the head with an Uzi sub machine gun. This has sparked debate on gun culture, how old is old enough to shoot, at what point is a submachine gun to be introduced, range procedures and a litany of other issues. From what we know so far, there is some room for improvement. Here are the general questions people seem to be interested it.… Read more »