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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.


Cam-O-Bunk Bunk Bed Cot System Rises to the Top of Outdoor Sleeping

By Kevin Reese

Photoscape samplePursuing my passion outdoors as a lover of God’s creation, avid hunter, seasoned outdoor communicator and even, as you’ll see, a speaker, still leads to many primitive camping opportunities. Whether my assignments and adventures (often one in the same) lead to remote hunting trips, fishing excursions or just plain camping, I love it most in the company of others, especially my family. Each year, I also look forward to CrossTImbers’ Family Archery Adventure Camp in near Norman, Oklahoma, where most of us camp primitively and some of us are blessed to teach archery, shooting and hunting seminars to the young campers and their parents. It was in preparation for this camp recently, along with the knowledge that this time I would be sharing tent space with my younger brother, James Reese, and pseudo-brother, Brian Magee, from Fired Up Outdoors TV that I began a search for gear that I thought either might make us more comfortable or at least accommodate the three of us with a substantial amount of camping and instructional gear. My search landed me at Disc-O-Bed.com where I quickly found the Cam-O-Bunk XL. As soon as the web page populated I knew I had found something amazing.

camobunk8One of the most amazing, innovative camping products I’ve come across in all of my outdoor years, Disc-O-Bed’s Cam-O-Bunk XL Bunk Bed Cot System rises above the “cot-petition” if there is any to be had, and “stacks up” comfort better than any camp bedding I’ve ever come across, especially considering eight years of gritty, active duty Marine Corps living!

I received my Disc-O-Bed Cam-O-Bunk Cot System just days before the family adventure camp, not as a result of slow shipping, Dis-O-Bed was incredibly responsive; rather, as a result of ordering at the last moment. I did not have time to unpack or inspect it before leaving, I simply loaded the soft carrying cases with rest of my gear and headed north.

camobunk3Upon arriving at the campground and picking the perfect spot, I pulled the soft cases out, laid them on the ground and opened them up. The contents were packed and protected incredibly well with detailed assembly instructions on top. The frame pieces are comprised of heavy-duty anti-rust, powder coated steel components; honestly, there wasn’t a scratch to be found. I studied the instructions for a few minute and began building. I erected the first cot, then the second, stacked them in the tent and had them tethered less than 10 minutes after I had retrieved them from my truck. I couldn’t have asked for an easier-to-assemble, better fitting system!

camobunk2While the Cam-O-Bunk is quite roomy, boasting mat dimensions of 79-in. x 34.5-in., I was amazed at how compactly it fit into my Browning Camping Black Canyon tent; we had tons of extra room for our gear! The Cam-O-Bunk also features a rolled steel base to protect ground sinking and damage to tent floors and other surfaces.

My first night in the Cam-O-Bunk, after a long evening of bowfishing on a nearby lake, was one of incomparable camp comfort. At 44, camp sleep often comes with a few aches and pain the next morning; however, the way the cot’s 600-denier material held fast yet fit the contour of my body had me feeling as rested as I’ve ever felt. We even took in an afternoon nap – tent windows open, cool breeze blowing through – it was a slice of heaven I don’t often get to experience, or generally cared to, given previous camp-sleep experiences. After the nap, we converted this bunk bed cot system into a comfortable camp couch. Yes, we were the only folks in camp with a couch in our tent! Does it get any cooler than a couch in your tent? No, it doesn’t.

If I sound excited, I am! As a Marine Corps veteran, I immediately realized Cam-O-Bunks value well beyond a simple campsite. Disc-O-Bed has developed a product primitive or temporary medical, humanitarian or military quarters; hunting, fishing and camping outfitters; emergency or human services shelters; youth camps; extra bedding at home when the relatives drop in for the holidays, etc.

Looking high and low for something I didn’t like about Disc-O-Bed’s Cam-O-Bunk XL Bunk Bed Cot System was futile. The only worthwhile mention is weight. The entire system weighs about 60 pounds. While I wouldn’t suggest backpacking everywhere with it, Cam-O-Bunk is compact, easy to carry and even easier to transport.

camobunk4Disc-O-Bed also offers an array of great accessories, including a cabinet, footlocker, mosquito net, polypropylene mat, IV stand, extenders to create more space between bunks, and other innovative accessories. My system included side organizers that attach easily to the sides of each cot and provide more than enough room for my Glock 17, flashlight, smartphone, tablet, beverage, a good book and much more.

The Disc-O-Bed Cam-O-Bunk has taken its rightful place alongside my favorite outdoor gear. I can’t imagine spending another night in camp without it!

For more information about the Cam-O-Bunk XL and Disc-O-Bed’s other innovative products, visit www.discobed.com.


Forever A Marine

Russell Lynch, a personal friend of mine, wrote this uplifting, downright motivating article commemorating the birth of a brotherhood that will forever unite us with scores of other Americans, past, present and future. Thanks for sending out this article, brother.

Happy Birthday Leatherneck!  Semper Fidelis.

Original Post by Russell Lynch, MaxMuzzleloader.com Blog, Posted: 09 Nov 2010 09:48 PM PST

Forever A Marine

On this date, 235 years ago, in a small tavern in Philadelphia, a man by the name of Samuel Nichols gathered a group of dedicated men who stood ready to serve their country.  On that night, the very first man was enlisted into what is now known as the Worlds Finest Fighting Force: the United States Marine Corps.  Led by Nichols, they had no idea what they had begun.

To become a U.S. Marine the test is hard; everything you’ve heard about USMC boot camp is true.  Without experiencing it yourself, you can’t really understand it and I can’t really explain it.  But the rewards are worth the blood, sweat and tears it takes to pass.  And you will never be the same.  Never.

You see, the saying is true: “Once a Marine, Always a Marine”.  In fact, the title “U.S. Marine” is forever and even beyond.  Marines are never forgotten, they live among us even after their service on earth is complete.

After my enlistment as an active Marine was over in 1988, my “Prior Marine” status had just begun.  It’s where I am now, it will continue until my earthly enlistment has ended.

To become a U.S. Marine requires that a person make a life-long commitment to something bigger than themselves.  Most of us don’t get that going in.  It requires commitment to God, Country and Corps.  And then the day comes when we join the ranks of “Prior Marine”, and now we add service to family and community to our list of commitments.  We have influence over everyone we come in contact with, no matter where, no matter what age.

For we are Marines for life.  We are accountable for our actions, or lack thereof, for life and beyond.  The Marine Corps doesn’t expect you to quit being a Marine once your enlistment is complete, Marines are ingrained from the first day of boot camp into a special brotherhood with a special bond, they are trained with integrity and are expected to carry on as trained, forever.

The Marine Corps expects it’s men and women to carry on after their enlistment is complete, to become leaders in society, to continue to be first to help, first to assist and first to fight, only now in our own communities instead of on foreign soil.

For those who have not been a Marine, always remember this: for 235 years, the Marine Corps has not only provided the world with the “Finest Fighting Force”, they have made a difference in countless walks of life, in the past, now and forever.

They are proud, but humble and each and every Marine since 1775 is a true American hero.

For those of you that have earned the title of U.S. Marine, you know what is expected of you, so get to it.  It’s in you to continue to serve as a Marine, now and until your death. And when your time on this earth is done, another Marine will be taking on the title of “Prior” and he/she will take it from there, and forever and beyond.  Our duty to service, our fellow Marines and all Americans is never ending.

There has never been a better time in world history to serve this great country than now.  Our country is wounded and torn and needs our service now like never before.  Remember to commit yourself to a cause bigger than yourself, and this country is just that.  America is and always will be, bigger and more important than any one person.  We have the skills and the dedication to make a difference, so reach down inside yourself and get it done.

As our USMC history has shown, there is not problem or situation that a dedicated, committed, organized group of Marines can’t get control of.

I would suggest we start at a place that we know best:  right where we are.  Show every American to your north, south, east and west to see America like a Marine does.  Let them see America through your eyes.  By doing this one thing, you have committed yourself to a cause bigger than yourself.  Just imagine an American with the same pride and integrity as they instill in Marines from day one of boot camp; an American that is proud of this country; an American that is dedicated to getting it straightened out.  And we will come through these trying times we find ourselves in, stronger and wiser.

Our country has a lot of problems right now, but nothing that Americans can’t handle.  If we look at these problems as a battle, through the eyes of a Marine, it is the perfect battle to fight and as always, one with victory on the other side.

First, we won’t be on foreign soil and we won’t be fighting a foreign enemy.  We’ll be fighting with Americans.  Secondly, we already have Marines embedded with Americans (ourselves).  As Marines, we come from all walks of life, religions, and races; we are everywhere.  Third, we the Marines, know better than anyone how to fight battles that politicians from one country or another start, but we can finish.

Although the perfect battle, it will still be a hard and long one.  Americans need jobs, healthcare, food, housing, ….the one thing that the Marines can provide to all Americans, is pride and hope.  And the best way to continue is to serve our fellow Americans is to simply let them see this country we love, through our eyes.  It costs nothing but time; we are Expert Americans, Professional Americans, and we have much to share.

As for the war we are fighting on foreign soil, every Marine needs to thank our civilian Americans for their support and prayers for ALL service members that have fought and are fighting, and those that gave their all.

To all other branches of the US Military, thank you.  Thank you for all you’ve done, thank you for all you continue do.  And please help us to continue to serve, now and forever, for you have the same great love for this country as we do.

Let the 235th Birthday of the “Worlds Finest Fighting Force” be the day we recommit ourselves to serve our country and fellow Americans.  Help one American a day, every day.  Instill in them, as it was ingrained in us, to remain faithful to the mission: don’t just be a good American, be a dedicated, pride-filled and committed one.

Happy Birthday, Semper Fi!

Forever a Marine,

Russell Lynch
Active Prior Service Marine
10 Nov 2010