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Combat Focus Shooting: Resolve to Protect… and Survive

Kevin shooting5

By Kevin Reese

Glock2It’s no secret, stories of home invasions, car-jackings, armed robberies, murders, assaults and even domestic violence are never-ending and the themes, eerily familiar, as they relate to the victims’ inability to protect themselves in one way or another; often, for gun owners, the shortcoming is a lack of effective defensive training. This New Year’s I challenge you to a resolution. Rather than focusing as much as we do on weight, finances or the next big promotion, try something a bit more selfless and impactful. Resolve to be the protector… and survivor your family may depend upon. For me, this critical commitment was launched by Rob Pincus’ life-changing Combat Focus Shooting program; in fact, consider CFS, as it relates to ending threats and surviving, the gift that keeps on giving.

Kevin IwoJima93The basic premise of Combat Focus Shooting, like many training programs, is survivability. I was familiar with this logic, first, because I want to survive just as much as the next person and second, my extensive Marine Corps handgun training, through countless hours of instruction and range time, also preached the same – we just didn’t train the same. Unlike my military training and qualification with a 1911, and most other training programs, survivability, pursuant to Combat Focus Shooting, hinges on distinctly different cornerstones, chiefly among them, a balance of speed and precision, and beginning with fundamental principles of defensive handgun shooting; the operative word being “defensive”, shooters should certainly possess at least basic handgun experience and study which equipment is deemed most appropriate for defensive shooting – walk on the rocks I stumbled on! Let me explain…

As a professional in the hunting and shooting industry, I knew Rob in advance but had no concept of the premise of the I.C.E. Firearm Training Combat Focus Shooting program. Like most of my Marine Corps buddies who had trained and qualified (I proudly qualified Rifle Expert, 6th Award, and Pistol Sharpshooter) and, indeed, all veterans exposed to concentrated handgun training, I thought I knew precisely how to defend myself and what gear I needed to do it. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

My first CFS experience was to have Pincus condemn my holster before my first drill.

“Put this on.”

ICE RAC7He handed me a new I.C.E. RAC Kydex OWB Holster and I did as he instructed, quickly changing holsters and joining the rest of the class for “balance of speed and precision” drills. This is the overwhelming theme of Combat Focus Shooting and a primary factor in survivability. The rest comes from instinctive, aggressive movements both in firearm manipulation and sustained fire without ever losing sight of the threat. In Pincus’ words, “If you’re looking down you’re not focused on the threat and if you’re not moving, you just might stay that way. Simple as that.”

Like a broken record, “balance of speed and precision” played on through every intense, physically grueling exercise from repeated, advanced versions of our first online drill to exhausting live-fire wind sprints and unnerving high-stress figure-eight drills. After two full days and 1,000 rounds of mentally and physically intense training, we survived. Of course, it’s worth noting the I.C.E. Kydex holster was a complete game-changer – the best I’ve ever used and still on my belt.

By the close of training, I was battered and bruised with rock-tape, expertly applied by CFS Instructor, Alessandro Padovani, running its X-pattern of support down the length of my strong-arm but I never broke… only persevered, learned and earned. I learned that before Combat Focus Shooting when I thought, as a concealed carrier, I knew everything I needed to in order to protect my family, I actually knew very little. I learned that the best way to protect my family is to train to stop a threat and survive to do it again if need be. Sadly, I also learned my beloved Marine Corps does not adequately equip my brothers-and-sisters in arms with training conducive to engaging an active shooter and surviving the experience.

CFS Coin6After training, Rob asked how I felt about Combat Focus Shooting. I chewed on his question for a moment, never truly answering. How does someone sum up a life-changing gift like CFS training in words that do it justice? You don’t. I was elated to have graduated the course, the prized CFS coin in hand, but my emotions were mixed. While elation was present so was humility and sadness. It wasn’t enough to acknowledge I knew much less than I thought, or even that personally, CFS was impactful beyond measure. I struggled with memories of the inadequate combat-focused handgun training I received as a Marine and that I suppose is still a disheartening reality.

At this time of year, when we search high and low for the right resolution to add depth and breadth to our lives, why not consider becoming the protector… and indeed the survivor, in the event of a threat, you are called to be? What better gift to your family is there than survivability? It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

CFS TargetAB-2CFS TargetC-2Side note – Balance of Speed and Precision is a simple concept. When engaging a threat your primary focus should never be precision accuracy, nor should it be to spray bullets in the actor’s general direction. Your best strategy for stopping an aggressor is somewhere in the middle, what Pincus refers to as the balance of speed and precision. Your goal should be to fire as rapidly as possible while maintaining a reasonable degree of accuracy; that is to say, keep your shots contained in an area referred to as the high-center chest.

CFS_Logo_GreenSpecial thanks to Combat Focus Shooting’s expert instructors Rob Pincus, Alessandro Padovani, Ken Crawford and Michael John Lowe, as well as fellow students and range hosts, Ken and Maggie Ortega.

I_C_E-Firearms-Training-Logo2Visit I.C.E. Firearm Training at http://www.icetraining.us or the Combat Focus Shooting website at http://www.combatfocusshooting.com for more training information and scheduled classes. More information about the best OWB holster I’ve ever used, Pincus’ personally designed I.C.E. RAC Kydex Holster can be found here at http://www.nrablog.com/post/2014/08/21/The-ICE-RAC-Kydex-Holster-Range-and-Carry-Holsterse28099-Finest-Hour.aspx and in the following video. The I.C.E. RAC Holster can be purchased at I.C.E. Training (http://icestore.us/Holsters/I-C-E-RAC-Range-and-Carry-Kydex-Holster.html) or Global Outfitters (https://www.globaloutfitters.com/pages/Proshop/ProductDetails.asp?ProductID=499).

More information can also be found in the following video:


The I.C.E. RAC Kydex Holster: Range and Carry Holsters’ Finest Hour

How much innovation can you fit in I.C.E. Training’s new personal defense holster? Maybe enough to save a life!

By Kevin Reese

I_C_E-Firearms-Training-Logo2As someone licensed to carry a concealed firearm, with a ridiculous number of hours of handgun and shooting training over eight years of Marine Corps service and of course, concealed-carry training under my belt, I thought I was well-equipped for personal defense and survivability; I was wrong. I showed up to personal defense expert, Rob Pincus’ two-day Combat Focus Shooting training with a soft-sided outside the waistband (OWB) holster complete with Velcro strap, my Glock 17 Generation 4 and 1,000 rounds of my personal favorite factory ammunition, Federal’s American Eagle.

Just as quickly as I walked onto the pistol range, Rob Pincus himself escorted me back to the prep table. He didn’t smile or say much at all. He simply un-holstered my handgun and asked me to remove my holster. As I removed my personal holster, he handed me a new I.C.E. Range and Carry (RAC) Kydex Holster and instructed me to put it on, re-holster and join the other students for the morning’s training brief.

ICE-RAC Holster-smWhile I was familiar with molded holsters, including the one I owned for my standard-framed Glock 20 Gen 1, I was not a huge fan. In my experience many had clumsy releases I always fumbled with during drawing exercises. While I’ll acknowledge that showing up with such a poor excuse for a training holster and having it changed out in front of the class was a bit embarrassing (no one has ever accused Rob Pincus of being shy) I later counted it as the most positive equipment change I could recall in all of my handgun training experience.

During my Combat Focus Shooting training, I fired over 850 rounds with an average of four shots per repetition. Crunching numbers revealed I rapidly drew and holstered my Glock 17 Gen 4 at least 200 times without a single glance down to my side. Doing so or fumbling would have resulted in compromising drills and losing sight of my targets, especially during wind-sprint and figure-eight drills.

My first observation of the I.C.E. RAC Kydex Holster is that while it hugged my Glock and kept it passively secure, there was no inhibiting release mechanism. The result was a seamless, lightning-quick draw every time; in fact, my draw was more efficient than ever before! The outer wall is also shorter allowing for quicker clearing out of the holster, although the trigger assembly and magazine release are still protected. Throughout over 200 drawing and holstering repetitions, the holster’s passive grip design significantly improved vertical drawing and forward driving of my gun into a firing position.

rolled lip court ICEI.C.E.’s RAC holster also integrates a higher sweat guard against my body and rolled-back upper edge from front to back, something I’ve never seen on competing models, although I’m sure others will attempt to emulate this innovative feature. The rolled upper edge, combined with raised sweat guard keeps the gun higher and closer to my body while creating a funnel to accept my handgun in a safer, more vertical and efficient manner; I don’t have to fish for the opening like many holsters that may cause an unsafe habit of pointing the barrel towards my hip to avoid a collision with the holster’s top edge. Tins innovative design allowed for seamless, efficient holstering as quickly as I could possibly holster my handgun. From the beginning, I had never holstered more efficiently than with the I.C.E. RAC holster. The fact still holds true today.

The I.C.E. RAC Kydex Holster was easy to install on my belt with the molded belt loops and wide platform and with 80-percent of the gun’s contour to the holster’s exterior face, it was comfortable all day long. Considering the extreme drills and physical movement I encountered throughout Combat Focus Shooting training, I can’t recall a single uncomfortable moment or instance of impeded mobility; at least, not from the holster although I’m sure I wasn’t the only one taking a few Ibuprofin in the evening! But, then again Rob Pincus doesn’t pull any punches. Your joints might hurt but survivability… and Combat Focus Shooting bragging rights are worth it.

I also noted minimal protrusion of my Glock 17 from the bottom of the holster. This open design still protected my handgun in any position while allowing for variations in length. For example, I can carry a Glock 17 and Glock 19 in the same holster.

Since the moment Mr. Pincus asked me to put it on, it’s been the only OWB holster I’ve carried. Simply put, while it’s certainly not the most expensive OWB holster I’ve owned, I’m a huge fan. Of course, after two days with Rob Pincus, I would expect nothing less than near-perfect “awesomeness”. His quest for perfection is about protecting what’s most important – truth be told, it’s not your handgun but this holster might disagree. Yes, it’s that good.

MSRP for the I.C.E. RAC Kydex Holster is $59.99 and, in my opinion, worth every penny.

To learn more about the I.C.E. RAC Kydex Holster and other great personal defense gear, visit the I.C.E. Firearm and Personal Defense Training Store at http://icestore.us/.

Click here to watch a video about the I.C.E. RAC Kydex Holster ( http://youtu.be/KG8tQrO3wLM)

CFS_Logo_GreenTo learn more about Rob Pincus’ life-changing Combat Focus Shooting personal defense courses, visit www.CombatFocusShooting.com.


NRA Unveils New TACTICAL BACKPACK!

Click ANYWHERE to see this pack at the NRA Store!


The Cold HEARD Truth about WildEar!

Bowhunter’s hearing amplification with shooting sports protection!

By Kevin Reese

As a tinnitus sufferer, compliments of the U.S. Marine Corps, and avid hunter, hearing has been a significant hindrance to my success in the field. While many count on hearing, sight and smell on the hunt, I have lost much of the second most critical sense we carry into the woods.

So, what’s a frustrated hunter to do? I had heard great things about the quality and customer service at WildEar so I picked up the phone and ordered the Master Series Hearing Enhancement System (HES). What a Godsend! Brad Esson sent me an information and fitting instruction kit and I scheduled an appointment with my local audiologist. I left the audiologist’s office with impressions in hand and mailed them back to WildEar. Within two weeks I had a package waiting at my front door.

What’s in the Box?

Upon opening the shipping box I found a beautifully crafted wood box with my name carved into the lid; I was immediately impressed! Opening the box I found every component neatly displayed including my WildEar Hearing Enhancement Devices (HED), a WildEar adjustable lanyard, extra plugs, a cleaning brush, identification card, extra size 13 batteries, instruction manual and an extremely nice leather carrying pouch.

After a quick read through the instructions and becoming familiar with button locations, I was ready to give my new “WildEars” a whirl. After installing the battery in the first device I immediately inserted it in my ear and continued installing the battery in the other device; while I did so, the left device cycled through a series of tones confirming that I had inserted the battery correctly and the unit was now active. After installing the battery in the second unit and firmly inserting it into my ear canal I heard the same tone; both units were active and appeared to be working properly. Once the units were powered on amplification of sounds was immediate and because the HED was created from personal impressions the fit was incredibly comfortable.

Success, One Ear at a Time!

A major benefit to WildEar’s HES is adjustability. This is the first system I’ve had the pleasure of using that incorporates comprehensive adjustability. WildEar HED’s offer four presets and numerous volume levels to optimize hearing FOR EACH EAR! Using the various presets and volume levels I quickly achieved optimum hearing; in fact, after customizing the settings and recording them on a piece of paper (I now keep folded in the leather pouch for reference) the variance in hearing from one ear to the other I had experienced for years became negligible.

From Every Direction or the Right Direction?

Another benefit was the ability to discern noise direction. Experimenting with other devices I noticed difficulty in ascertaining which direction noises were coming from. Using WildEar’s HED’s I had no problem identifying the source direction of various sounds; a critical element to hearing in the woods! In a matter of minutes I had leveled my outdoor playing field with a keen hearing ability I presume rivals that of my prey.

Hearing to Hearing Protection: From A – Z!

My Master Series HED’s were designed for a diverse range of outdoor activities including both firearm shooting and bowhunting. When rifle or pistol hunting, or during a day on the shooting range, I simply insert the vent plugs into the vent holes. The plugs seal the vent holes preventing outside noise from entering the devices. Noise is suppressed when it reaches a potentially dangerous level. My HED’s only suppressed the firearm blast then returned to hearing amplification.

While bowhunting I remove the plugs. The open vent holes allow for natural noise and air to infiltrate, eliminating any semblance of feeling “plugged up”. It’s worth noting that at any time you transition from bowhunting to shooting a firearm you must remember to install the vent plugs!

The Cold HEARD Truth!

I never realized how much I was missing the field. WildEar HED’s gave me a new lease on my bowhunting life. Now I used them for more than outdoor pursuits. Late in the evening you can now find me watching a couple of my favorite television shows… without subtitles!

The quality of workmanship was readily apparent and proven through use. WildEar accounted for every minute detail. The presentation of the product in the customized box seemed to demonstrate just how much WildEar focuses on satisfying customers; I felt like I was important to them. WIldEar has earned my trust, endorsement and recommendation. Well done, WildEar, well done!

The only con I observed is the inability to power off the devices without removing the batteries. A power button on each device would be a great addition; handling batteries while 20 feet up in a treestand can be frustrating. Considering that minor inconvenience, WildEar still earns top honors with me. I expect my WildEar HED’s will be an important part of my outdoor gear for years to come!

Many thanks to WildEar for offering premium, dependable and diverse HED’s at prices most bowhunters who take their hearing seriously can afford!

Check out WildEar’s array of premium hearing enhancement and suppression products at www.WildEar.com.

Hunt hard, hunt often.