NOVEMBER 10, 2020

The Outdoor Wire Digital Network will not publish any of our services on Wednesday, November 11, as we observe Veteran's Day with the nation.

Press releases and industry news received after Monday, November 9 at 5:00 p.m. Central Time will not run until Thursday, November 12 as we resume our normal publication schedule.

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. announced that Team Ruger’s James McGinty and Dave Olhasso earned multiple divisional wins this past weekend at the New Jersey State Rimfire Challenge held at the Old Bridge Rifle and Pistol Club in Old Bridge, NJ.
SAR USA by Sarsilmaz announced the introduction of the new SAR 9X Platinum striker-fired semi-automatic 9x19mm pistol. It features a polymer frame with accessory rail, Cerakote ‘platinum’ finish on the slide and a 4.5” hammer forged barrel.

The Rhino 600 portable ground blind is now available in Mossy Oak patterns, Break-Up Country or Mossy Oak Obsession.
Part of Galco's Concealed Carry Lite line of holsters, the WalkAbout 2.0 offers all the benefits of the bestselling Tuck-n-Go 2.0­ – with the addition of an integral spare magazine (autos) or speedloader (revolvers) carrier.
XS Sights is changing the name of its popular 3-Dot RAM Night Sights to R3D Night Sights due to a trademark issue. The name change is effective immediately. XS is also pleased to introduce R3D Suppressor Height sights for Glock pistols.

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute announced that it has added a new membership category, Affiliated Members, to the organization’s body of professional suppliers.
SIG SAUER, Inc. announced that the TANGO6T has been selected by the U.S. Department of Defense for the Direct View Optic in response to a solicitation to enhance squad performance with a variable powered riflescope.
Walther announces that the Gravel Agency will represent the complete line of Walther products in both commercial and law enforcement markets in Canada. The Gravel Agency will manage distribution, warranty, translation services, parts inventory, and compliance for all Canadian customers.

In its sixth year, the annual Benelli USA Invitational event raised a record amount of $100,000 for Freedom Hunters – a group that supports outdoor opportunities for combat veterans, active duty military personnel and military families. Due to COVID-19, the in-person shooting event pivoted to an online format.
Beretta USA is honored to announce the launch of a limited-edition Beretta M9 T-shirt in honor of Veteran’s Day. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the commemorative T-shirt will benefit Folds of Honor., the world’s first outdoor lifestyle focused multi-merchant marketplace has announced the launch of six additional Celebrity Storefronts.

NSSF announces that Bear Creek Arsenal is sponsoring November 2020’s Gearbox Giveaway in support of the +ONESM Movement. 
Staccato 2011, LLC announced that Kyle Defoor is joining Staccato’s Professional Team of law enforcement and military trained professional shooters. Mr. Defoor, former U.S. Navy SEAL and Vice President of Defoor Proformance Shooting, brings over 25 years of shooting experience to Staccato.
Chattanooga Shooting Supplies has announced several organizational changes in response to the strong economic growth the company has experienced over the past 18 months.

Lipsey's, a nationally renowned firearms distributor, continues to explore new product expansion with the addition of Rugged Suppressors.
Through June 30, 201, Blackbird Products Group, parent company of Mammoth Coolers and Mammoth PPE products, will make a donation on every Mammoth Heritage Cooler sold to The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project, a veteran charity co-founded by the late country music icon and patriot Charlie Daniels and his personal manager, David Corlew.
Smith & Wesson seeks candidates for Law Enforcement District Sales Manager for the Pacific Northwest region. The incumbent must reside in the territory or be willing to relocate without assistance.
The Second Amendment Foundation filed a federal lawsuit challenging federal law that prevents young adults from purchasing and owning handguns. SAF is joined by the Firearms Policy Coalition and Louisiana Shooting Association and two private citizens, Caleb Reese and Joseph Granich, both in the affected age group.
GSM Outdoors announces a new partnership between professional marksman, Max Michel and G.P.S. Bags.
Media Lodge, the Outdoor Industry’s leading digital distribution platform and content studio, has announced a partnership with USA Carry.
Bushnell’s Mark Cooper and his Elite Tactical XRS II 4.5-30x50 riflescope won  the Tactical Division for the PRS Southeast Regional Finale, taking the coveted Tactical Division championship for the entire season.
Aker now offers the 147C Nightguard Compact for compact weapons with smaller lights such as the Streamlight TLR7 and TLR8. Produced in the USA using full grain US cowhides, the 147C holster is slim and features a thumb break for quick access.
Vortex wants to make sure you’re ready to tag that buck this year. Recorded on 10/29, their Facebook Live event is built around helping hunters get the information and tools they need to accurately and safely sight-in their rifles, including answering questions on everything from proper scope mounting practices, to ballistics, to the tools you need to achieve a solid zero.
DRD Tactical announces an additional path for consumers to purchase its line of patented take down rifles and other gear:
GSM Outdoors is excited to announce a new partnership between G.P.S. Bags and popular social media influencer, combat veteran, and successful firearm shop owner, Neal Currey, known to many as Ready Gunner.
The Wilson Combat P320 is featured in the Jan/Feb issue of American Handgunner. Also,  in “Impossible Engineering,” Massad Ayoob reveals how Langdon devised a way to get an optical sight on the Beretta 92.
The January issue of GUNS features the stunning “re-imagineering” performed by Guncrafter on a CZ 75 SP-01 and CZ 75 Compact. Also, Jameson Parker looks at the Walther CCP M2 380 as an option for those who have difficulty manipulating the slide on larger semi-autos or dealing with the recoil.
Primary Arms Optics announced its sponsorship for Legacy Jump, a Veteran’s day extreme-sports fundraising event supporting veteran and first-responder charities. This televised event will be hosted at the National WWI Museum and Monument in Kansas City, MO.
The Army Small Arms competition, with rack issue carbines and pistols, is open to active duty, guard, reserve, and cadets, to keep battlefield skills sharp. Shooting USA is at Ft. Benning to cover the action.

I got into the firearms instruction game early in my career, actually getting into the state academy’s instructor school in 1983, just prior to getting on at the Sheriff’s Department. Much of the handout material came from NRA Law Enforcement and it was a terrific school. I learned a lot of what was known from 1948-1970 or so – but no farther.

That’s not a criticism, just history. Everyone’s in a straight line shooting on full-size (plus) silhouette targets, par times for cylinder dumps followed by reloading. That’s after you arrived with an empty gun (wink, wink) because loaded guns are ‘unsafe’ on ranges. There were scores, percentage of possible, hits on the ‘line’ counts the next value up. Low on ‘officer survival,’ long on “don’t shoot yourself” and “high enough score means you pass.”

After I’d joined the S.O., they began the transition to semiautos in 1986 and they sent me back to the academy to refresh my instructor training to assist in the agency transition. It was two weeks now instead of one. I’d been reading Ayoob’s book Stressfire and one of the academy staffers, a young fellow at the time, absorbed it quickly.

A few years later, the outfit sent me to an NRA instructor school local to us. It was a week long, well enough done. I noticed that the handouts hadn’t changed from my 1983 class and it was pretty typical stuff. Long on basics – good, short on teaching people to fight with guns.

After I met Massad Ayoob, things changed quickly for me and one of the aspects was national trainer membership in ASLET and teaching nationally. There I met Clive G. Shepherd.

Gone was the static firing line protocol. Substituted were street-relevant drills, cluttering up the range, shooting from "unconventional" (down/disabled officer) and more. Below, it's great to have real deal mentors. I'm flanked by Jim Cirillo and Clive Shepherd.

To say I was mesmerized by his teaching style is an understatement. An expat, he was a veteran of Royal Marines, a Colour Sergeant … yes, I had to look it up too. He fled the miserable weather of his home country in the Marines, then fled for the United States. Taking shelter in Miami, he began his firearms instructing there with the influx of people seeking permits under the new “shall issue” program. He came to the attention of NRA, who asked him to come aboard to teach police instructor trainees.

He evaluated the program and began instituting changes that resulted in the Law Enforcement Activities Division the crown jewel of readily available instructor training for police agencies.

Starting in his usual style, he’d smile at the class. After a short introduction, he’d go into the routine.

“By now,” he’d drawl, “you’ll have guessed that I’m not from these parts.”

Smiling, he’d wait for the laughter to die down.

“And I’m not from Australia, before you ask. It’s a penal colony!”

He was strict about applying the training -- the rehearsal -- to the mission. “It’s not close with and destroy the enemy,” he noted. “For you, it’s protect and serve.”

You may have to fight with guns, to save your life and the life of others you’re responsible to protect – but teaching soldier stuff isn’t quite the answer. “We have to be selective of our techniques and gear our training to serve the needs of our students.”

Clive was heavy on the service aspect of training. Students want to know why we teach something. Their time is valuable.

Part of development is learning from other pros, Stephen Wenger and Mas Ayoob shown here. Below, a favorite was the 'chair drill.' Seeing traditional rangemasters react to an 'uprange' starting position was worth as much as the utility of the drill - making students think while using guns.

How much value do they get for the next hour of instruction?

How much value do they get from the next fifty rounds of ammunition?

If you can’t answer those questions, you’re in the wrong business. We have expectations from participants: safety – they’re part of the safety staff, active participation, punctuality, a desire to learn & improve. As to instructors, they’re to be role models. “We lead by example, we are responsible. We teach them to win the fight and to go home alive.”

Why do we teach a particular component? It’s not “This is the way we’ve always done it,” or “This is the way I was taught.” It’s not “This is the way Fred said to do it.” (Fred is the cut-out of a skeleton with badges on it; the prototypical student.)

It is, “I think this is the best way for my students.” How do you find out? Try new stuff on the range. You read, you become a student in other classes.

He drove classical range masters crazy; he’d clutter up the range, use home made 3D targets, having people move about with guns in hand. Clive taught how to shoot around cover, not from a ‘barricade’ (which is competition-speak). He taught running the gun one-handed, proposed that instructors should be able to teach and function with either hand – some of the students are ‘wrong-handed,’ and we’re as responsible for them as the others.

As a noncommissioned officer, he was fine at being controversial. “Out to ten yards,” he’d say, “sights are overrated.” You’d think it was Rob Leatham with a distinct British accent. He decried the “Mickey Mouse accuracy tests” and, questioned about ‘qualification,’ would say “Qualified? To do what?”

He’d doctor up targets. Responsible for the latest iteration of the NRA LEAD target, he’d put photocopy faces on them, put a sheet of printer paper in landscape orientation on the lower part of the silhouette and put a ‘gun’ image on the target – some held right-handed, others left. You’d heard him call out when it was time to change targets. “Remember to get faces, guns and groins.”

The objective was to get the fight over quickly. The reason is so you are shot less. He assumed that “bullets don’t work,” and when someone would object about the ‘get shot less’ statement, he’d smile.

“If you’re in a physical struggle with an offender, you figure you’ll get hit? Yes? If you struggle with someone who has a knife, what chance you’ll get cut? 100%? Probably? Okay, so if you’re in a shootout, it’s entirely likely you’ll get shot. You’d best accept that and move on.”

In 44 hours, he’d pack in years of instructional skills, non-standard shooting exercises, how to move with gun in hand, how to move around others with gun in hand – it’s like taking service schools from the former industry schools (HK International Training Div., Beretta, S&W Academy) while sprinkling in some Clint Smith, Mas Ayoob, and more. It was a deep well.

Clive Shepherd traveled with this trunk of gear for most of the year. He’d ship the trunk to a venue, fly out Sunday, train, ship the trunk Friday to the next location, get home long enough for laundry and to express mail supplies to replenish the trunk, then fly out Sunday to the next gig.

He wasn’t vastly impressed with working for NRA (“The great thing about it is that you can always find a better job,” he’d say). He was clearly impressed by the attention and dedication of the people he worked for. They were his reason for making the effort.

Clive Shepherd left the place better than he found it. I missed his death notice from 2017 and that of his beloved wife in 2018.

Fair winds, Marine, and following seas. You made a difference. There are a number of us who won’t forget.

-- Rich Grassi

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