Skill Set: General Tips

Oct 26, 2015
Every AR guy I know has a box laying around full of the original A2 style pistol grips; with so many options out there most shooters install an aftermarket type. I finally figured out a good use for the A2 grips. I assemble a lower for later use I install an A2 grip cut down to retain the safety and its spring and detent, which are held in place by the grip. This way the lower receiver will fit into the small boxes I use to store them. (The buffer detent, takedown pin and detent and their springs go into a small bag.) For storage of AR receivers and pistols I use boxes from Cameron Packaging. Their boxes are sturdy corrugated cardboard and come in a variety of sizes. The "Small" size is perfect for AR receivers, pistols, and revolvers with up to four inch barrels. I practice with and carry revolvers a lot, especially S&W's "K" frames. I like the HKS speedloaders. With the HKS loaders you twist the knob to release the rounds. My old fingers don't work as well as they used to do due to arthritis and old injuries, so twisting the knob is sometimes a bit difficult. My solution is to drill and tap the knob of the loader; installing a #10 Allen head bolt. This little bit of extension gives me a better grip on the knob and something positive to twist. Reloading is much easier. Since there's not a lot of torque involved you could also probably just drill a hole and use JB Weld to epoxy the screw in place. I also carry Bianchi speed strips. These are much easier to conceal than the bulkier round loaders. From reading Grant Cunningham's book I learned that leaving one round out of the middle of the strip makes it much easier to hold while loading the cylinder. For five shot revolvers this is perfect. For six shot wheel guns it means you have to use another strip to top it off completely. Under stress I'd rather be able to feed five quickly and close the cylinder to get off more rounds then fumble with a fully loaded strip. If there's no rush then retrieving another strip to top off the last round is no problem. For semi-auto's we always suggest students have two sets of magazines. One set is for training and practice. They get abused. The other set is tested for function, with your "duty" ammo, then set aside for carry or use in your life-and-death situations. Mark them in some way you can tell them apart. For example with Glocks, I use Tango Down's "Vickers" mag floor-plates in orange for my training/practice mags. The orange plate is easy to distinguish from the black ones on my carry mags. Plus they give you a lot of grip if you need to strip the mag to clear a malfunction. Use a permanent marker, rotary tool or wood-burner to number each individual mag. That way if mag A2 is always giving you troubles you can get rid of it. Last, but certainly not least, get some tourniquets and learn how to use 'em. Shove one in your pocket when you're at the range. Put them in your vehicles. Stick one in your briefcase, purse or backpack. There's no reason not to have this piece of essential gear with you at all times or within quick reach. This is a piece of kit you can carry everywhere and they are constantly saving lives. Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, located in northern Alabama. He is the author of "The Book of Two Guns" - writes for several firearms/tactical publications, and is featured on GunTalk's DVD, "Fighting With The 1911 - Website: