All posts by David Zakar

Just enroll in the damn class. Stop making excuses.

I recently had a conversation with a shooting buddy of mine about his “class rifle”. It was a very well-thought out AR-15 build that he was slowly piecing together. Knowing this guy pretty well, I noted that he had a bunch of ARs already, and, to the best of my knowledge, had never actually taken a training class before in his entire life. He confirmed these facts to me, and then told me he was hoping to take a class with some YouTube celebrity I’d never heard of, and said trainer that didn’t even have a class scheduled in this area.

When I noted that there’s like half a dozen excellent training companies within like two hours of where we lived, he got kind of quiet and made some mumbled non-committal remarks. We then moved on to some other topics. But that conversation has stayed with me, because it seems like it’s a common line of thinking.

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The Stages of Shooter Development

A recent conversation on Facebook has gotten me thinking about “the journey” that shooters take in their (unending!) quest for mastery.

I see discrete stages of shooter development. The stages I define below are really oriented towards tactical/competition shooting with pistols and carbines, but I am sure extreme long-range and shotgun sports shooters will see some very similar patterns.

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Green Ops Advanced Covert Carry Skills Impressions (TD2)

A topic that gets precious little coverage on this blog is concealed carry. I live in MD; there’s functionally no concealed carry for average people here unless you meet some very specific criteria. This is compounded by having a job where concealed carry is not a viable option. Thus, I have the gear, but the topic is essentially theoretical to me.

When I was invited to the second day of Green Op’s Advanced Covert Carry Skills course, I was a little apprehensive. I mean, I always enjoy learning from Mike Green, who is one of the best instructors out there, and hard shooting is good shooting. The timing of the course, however, was very awkward (literally the day before Succot began in the evening) and I’m always nervous about going into day two of a course and then trying to play catch up. But they wanted me to come, and I really wanted to see Mike, so I gave in.

I can say with emphasis that I’m glad I did.

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Green Ops Defensive Pistol Clinic II AAR

One constant refrain I’ve had for at least a year is “where are my advanced Sunday classes?” In what I assume is part of a concerted effort to get me to shut up, Green Ops finally relented and offered a Defensive Pistol II clinic this past Sunday night. My inside information is that they will be offering more of these advanced clinics next year, and even a proper Sunday all-day class! (Readers: the moral of this story is that if you want something from trainers, step number one is to simply ask politely for it! You might even get it!)

This was my first time shooting a level II with Green Ops, and you can read on for what I thought of it!

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The Saga of How I Fixed My AR-9 SBR

I’m going to record my AR-9 trouble-shooting process in this blog post so that maybe someone else can glean some insight into all the things that can possibly go wrong, and how to fix them… because I lived through them.

I bought a DDLES “Glock mag” AR lower from Gunbroker once upon a time because that was the hotness like five years ago, and hard to get hold of. It was a smoking deal; based on the person’s other sales item and lack of engraving on the lower, I suspect they had an illegal SBR they were parting out in an attempt to make it go away. I dutifully filed a Form 1 on it, waited G-d only knows how long, and bought a cheapo PSA upper to put on it – I think it was 10.5″, whatever it took to get it across the magic 29″ OAL floor we have in MD.

It was a terrible performer right out the gate. It didn’t eject right. It didn’t cycle reliably. It tore cartridges in half. But, last night, after months of work, I got it working. How? Read on.

Continue reading The Saga of How I Fixed My AR-9 SBR

3Gun Match at AGC Baltimore – 9/22/2019

Had the pleasure of participating in the first public 3 gun match at AGC Baltimore’s new action bays! This was my first 3 gun match ever, and let’ say… it showed. I didn’t come in last place, but 22/27 isn’t exactly a stunning finish.

This was a fairly easy match as they go; no long shots (50yds max), pistol shots weren’t overly difficult (lots of dueling racks, though), and the shotgun portion wasn’t overly focused on loading. I gave up a lot of points in penalties; a fair bit of that was from not really having the right gear to shoot 3 gun and then skipping targets. Also had some equipment failures, including a really catastrophic holster failure – it was basically a miracle that I wasn’t DQ’d.

Here’s me running on the first stage:

 

This wasn’t a bad run for a first time, but as you see midway through the video, I’m like “where are all my shells?” I had a side saddle, but it felt off, which left me totally zero on extras. Oops! If I had a proper shell holder for my belt or chest, I think I would have done somewhat better. Well, that and “practice”!

Continue reading 3Gun Match at AGC Baltimore – 9/22/2019

Shadow Hawk Defense Close Quarter Battle / Room Clearing Class AAR

As I’ve become a somewhat better shooter over the past year and a half, I’ve tried to fit more and more “skills classes” into my training regimen beyond the usual carbine and pistol classes. This has included some competition-oriented classes, but also stuff like Greg Ellifritz’s knife course.

The newest addition to my skill set – even in its most basic form – is room-clearing technique. Most of my training life really revolves around drawing from a holster really fast and then shooting stuff real quick. That’s a paradigm that’s worth being good at, to be sure. But what about a situation where the threat is in an unknown position? The problem is significantly different, which is why Shadow Hawk Defense started offering their CQB / Room Clearing class. Read on for more!

Continue reading Shadow Hawk Defense Close Quarter Battle / Room Clearing Class AAR