One big thing that has changed in the last year is my daily carry gun. A student came to class last February with a Walther PPQ M1. Curious I asked if I could run a few rounds through the gun. He handed me six rounds and I proceeded to punch all six into a below average size group for me all dead center of the desired target. From that moment on I was hooked.

The Walther PPQ M2 has, in my opinion, the best factory trigger for a striker fired handgun on the market at the time of this writing. I have found it to be more accurate out to 25 yards than my earlier carry gun, the Glock 19. Looking at reliability I have had 2 failures to eject out of roughly 5000 rounds and both I believe were due to ammo.

The one downfall I have found is that I had to adjust my grip slightly to keep my thumb away from riding on the slide release keeping the slide from locking back on an empty mag. By simply moving the position of my thumb I have solved it issue. After many repetitions it is now second nature.

The PPQ had very little I wanted to change from the factory. The only upgrade I have made is removing the factory 3 dot sights to a set of Trijicon HDs.

As I said I feel this is the most accurate handgun I have carried and the standard I compare with is the Dot Torture drill. This week I shot a personal best beating my previous score of 47/50 with a 48/50.



It will take something drastic to make me move away from the PPQ. I am working on a little project that I think might actually pair with the amazing trigger but it will take some time for me to shake it all out. More to come on that.

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I know I have been absent for quite awhile but I wanted try to start a little thing that will make me get more content out for folks. I want to start Dot Torture Wednesday and post a new dot torture drill with (hopefully) a different gun every post. The targets can be found at a great website called


Here is our first submission for Dot Torture Wednesday.
Diamondback DB380ex

Caliber: .380 ACP
Length: 5.26”
Height: 3.75”
Width: .750“”
Barrel Length: 2.80”
Distance Between Sights: 4”
Weight (unloaded): 8.8 oz
Trigger Pull: ≈5.5#
Magazine Capacity: 6+1 Rds
Ammo – Blazer Brass
Took me a min to get used to the 6 o’clock hold it was requiring at first. If you notice the number one target is all high. The further into the 50 rounds it seemed to even out. I’m not sure if that was me adjusting to the gun or the barrel starting to shoot in? I had a first round jam and experienced no other problems or malfunctions after that. Recoil is what you would expect from a micro compact. Think of it as comparable to a Ruger LCP but I was bleeding by stage 5.  I didn’t have a holster to fit so I had to modify the stages slightly so instead of coming from a draw I came from a high compressed ready position. Also since the gun only came with a single mag I had to load one into the gun fire then reload from the mag that was on my belt. One thing I don’t like is that it doesn’t lock back on an empty mag. Trigger is typical for a double action again comparable to the Ruger. The EX denomination stands for EXO finished slide similar to what Glock did a number of years back on certain models.

Distance – 5 yards
45/50 score



If you have any questions on this gun or suggestions on guns you would like to see shot let me know. if you have ideas for articles you would like to see me cover post them up into the comment section or on the Facebook page.


Thanks for sticking around,


Reader Submission: Scott M

Posted: January 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

Reader Scott sent me some of his thoughts on why he thought anti-gun groups are so unsuccessful and untrustworthy. He told me if I thought it was good enough to publish I could post up his thoughts and I told him I absolutely would.

Gun control groups such as the Brady Campaign, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Moms Demand Action and  Everytown for Gun Safety are the reason there is such a great divide in this country and such a resistance to any laws that might help positively affect gun violence and safety. They cry for what they call “gun sense” but it’s clear “gun sense” only means one thing to them: bans on guns.
The most prominent reason is because these groups at their core aren’t interested in coming to any solution other than the disarmament of the American People. Most will quickly point out that “No one wants to take your guns.” they only want “common sense” regulations (inferring that if you disagree, you are not sensible).  That’s hard to believe from groups that started with names such as the National Council to Control Handguns, and National Coalition to ban Handguns. Are they saying they want to ban guns but still want people to keep them? They claimed victory when Connecticut passed a ban on new “assault weapons” and standard capacity magazines over 10 rounds. The law lets people who already own such items to keep them as long as they register them with the state. Its estimated that about 300,000 gun owners or roughly 90% refused to comply with the registration and are now subject to confiscation and gun crime charges.  It’s a similar story in New York where as many as one million New Yorkers refusing to register their guns that are now classified as “assault weapons” under New York’s onerous SAFE Act. Gun owners are so resistant to registration because they know the only reason the government would want to know where guns are is so they may be taken at a later date. Now tell me again that no one wants to take anyone’s guns.
The groups’ vehement hoplophobia is readily transparent. Take a look at their comments on any gun related incident. If there is a negligent discharge and someone is hurt, they wouldn’t dare say they are launching a campaign to reinforce gun safety practices by offering gun safety classes and PSAs. If a child finds an adult’s gun, the call is instantly to ban guns, not to advocate for secure storage or even offer free firearms locks. Take any gun related issue, the only solution is a call to ban guns or take steps to ban guns. While there are plenty of dangers in our everyday lives such as swimming pools, automobiles, and power tools, guns seem to be the only thing that draws an immediate call for a nationwide ban as opposed to helping people use them more safely. Janet Reno purportedly once said “Waiting periods are just a step, registration is just a step, the prohibition of private firearms ownership is the goal.” Whether she actually said it or not is debatable, but the sentiment is alive and thriving in the “gun sense” community.  
The other reason the public is skeptical at best of these groups are the lies. Nearly everything these groups say is cherry picked data, half truths, or flat out fabricated. Are 40% of all gun sales made without a background check? Yes, if you go off of data collected in a survey from 251 people in 1994, four years before the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was in place. Were there really 74 school shootings as Everytown for Gun Safety Claimed? Yes, if you counted suicides, criminal activity such as drug dealing, after-hours incidents, and incidents that took place near school grounds such as across the street. The real number is 10 according to poltifact. While 10 is still not a good thing, it’s not the 74 that they sensationalized. Did Starbucks, Target, Chili’s and other major retailers change their policy on guns being carried in their stores? Yes, if you count press statements asking people to not bring their guns into stores, but also stating they will not post signs or ask anyone to leave. Is the USA really leading in the world in gun murders? Yes, if you filter out the 12 other countries like Mexico, Jamaica, Brazil and South Africa ahead of us by saying they aren’t civilized or industrialized. It certainly wouldn’t sound impressive to say we need gun control because the USA is 1st in gun ownership but 111th in the world in overall murder rate. In short, the average citizen not indoctrinated with “gun sense” is wary of any group that needs so many lies to try to prove its point.
I think most gun owners actually support measures that would actually keep guns out of the hands criminals and the mentally unstable. Responsible gun owners would surely think it a prudent to ensure a random stranger isn’t a dangerous person before selling them a gun in a private sale. The problem is no proposed law I’ve seen actually targets criminal activity but instead seeks to burden otherwise lawful citizens with laws unenforceable against legitimate criminals, expensive FFL transfer fees and inconvenience for things such as a father gifting a gun to an adult son, and steps that make it overly difficult to obtain and own a firearm by requiring safety classes that span numerous days, licensing fees that may cost as much as the firearm itself and strict travel regulations that make it illegal to stop to pee at a gas station if transporting a gun. Every proposed “gun sense” solution is like every time Lucy holds the football for Charlie Brown; he hopes and wishes she sincerely wants to help, but we all know she’ll pull it out at the last second and Charlie Brown will fall flat on his back.
If gun safety groups seek to actually help and not just try to ban guns, here are some great places to start. Work to help at risk youths to avoid illegal drug and gang activity which the CDC estimates accounts for 80% of gun violence that isn’t suicide. Work to make mental health care more available and more effective for people that need it. Finally, work to educate gun owners on safe use, handling and storage for guns so people, especially children aren’t injured or killed from poor safety practices.

Scott M

Thoughts On Open Carry

Posted: October 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

It has been a little while since I have had the time to hammer out an article but last week something caught my attention that made me really want to get back to the keyboard. It was kind of a tragic comedy in my opinion mainly because this proves something that I have said for quite awhile now.  If you missed the news or are unsure what I am getting at an Oregon man was robbed of his gun while open carrying.

All the time I hear and read open carry advocates claim that displaying a gun openly is the ultimate deterrent. We have heard all the examples, “The convenience store robber will see them standing there armed and the sight of their gun will sway the decision-making of the would be bad guy into picking another time and place.”

I never could come to agree with these theories. Criminals don’t fear the mere sight of a gun, they fear the armed citizen that is willing to use the gun. What happened in Oregon just cements this idea into my mind. Not only did the bad guy not automatically see the gun and run away, he walked up to the open carrier and struck up a conversation, bummed a cigarette, then robbed him. Die hard open carry advocates need to realize that they cannot rely on the idea that the mere presence of a gun will keep them safe. So many of them seem to believe it is like garlic to a vampire and that is far from the truth.

Am I against open carry? No, I believe there is a time and place for everything when done properly. I sometimes open carry to and from the range depending on what the day holds. I saw 3 or 4 people open carrying at our recent county fair and the holster of choice seemed to be a soft nylon Uncle Mikes with a strap and button snap for retention. At least one of these candidates didn’t have the button snapped. As I said, when done properly…

Please, if you are going to open carry use some form of retention holster and have some form of physical retention training. And please, for God’s sake, don’t think that just because you have a gun that everyone can see nobody will target you. You never know, it might be what puts you in the cross hairs to begin with.

Let me know below or on the Facebook page what you think about today’s subject. If you open carry are you immune to attacks?


Train often,


Hands on with the LC9s

Posted: August 27, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Got to play with the LC9s last night. This is Ruger’s new striker fired version of the LC9. It was really interesting. The trigger was everything you wouldn’t expect from Ruger, in fact, it was great. The LC9s felt good in the my small hands. I was able to reach all the controls easily except for the mag release and I will get to that below. In regards to size I would say it would fall somewhere between a Sig 938 and a S&W Shield so it should be extremely concealable.

There are a few things I would change on it. The reset is agonizingly long for a striker fired gun. Coming from a M&P or Glock I felt like I was searching and searching for it. As I stated above the controls were easy to reach except the mag release. Keep in mind I’m left handed and run my guns with the mag release set up for right handers by engaging it with my middle finger. The msg release on the LC9s is difficult for a lefty using that setup to get to because of its size. It is obvious Ruger wanted to keep the gun as slim as possible and had to sacrifice here. The mag release also lacks the ability to be reversed to the other side for the lefties that prefer that option. After switching the gun to the right hand I had no trouble getting to the release so normal handed people should be OK. Last but not least… the manual safety. Take an efficient platform that is a viable option for carry and then add a manual safety. Why Ruger, WHY!?!? Ruger has already came out and said they will not be offering an LC9S without a manual safety like Smith and Wesson recently did with their shield. Is that a deal breaker? That is up for you to decide.

Overall I think Ruger has a good start. Coming in at under $400 it will appeal to the new shooters pocketbooks. Get rid of the manual safety and shorten the reset and I would probably rank this before the Glock 42.


Tell me what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.


A lot has happened since June when I wrote the last entry. I was sitting in a motel room in Warren Ohio resting for day two of “Critical Defensive Handgun” class with Paul Carlson. It was a great class and you can expect a full review coming in the near future. At the time of the CDH course I was kicking around the idea with my fellow Valkyrie Defense business partner Jason about where we wanted to take the next level of training to. We had a few ideas in mind but after the CDH course we had our eyes opened up to the benefits of the Combat Focused Shooting program and decided that weekend that we wanted to bring that to our students. In the following weeks we put in three treacherous days of insane amounts of stress, intense levels of learning, personal growths, personal failures, and more McDonald’s’ food than I ever want to see in such a short amount of time ever again. In the end of the week we were lucky enough to graduate as ICE Defensive Firearms Coaches. To me it was a huge success not just for the low passing rate of participants, but because it was extremely challenging and I feel I grew to whole new level of instructor. After coming back and teaching a few classes we added a ton of new material to our Concealed Handgun Course and are now offering a taste of Combat Focused Shooting to all of our Concealed Handgun classes now.

Valkyrie Defense is now offering two new classes to its lineup, Fundamentals of Home Defense and Counter Ambush Concepts. Each class is powered by Combat Focused Shooting and ICE Academy. We recently taught one of the CAC courses in Coshocton and had a great turn out. The Debrief went well and everyone provided great feedback. One of the students said that he might put together a little after action report for us to use however we would like. We told him that would be fine but we wanted him to be honest. I wasn’t expecting a three page essay but I am really glad he threw it together for us. I asked if I could share it on the blog to see if I could get any feedback from the readers and he said I could. He does a great job of giving you a glimpse into the day of a Counter Ambush Concepts as a student, and what to expect if you ever plan on taking a class with Valkyrie Defense Group. I will admit now that I had to edit a small part of his piece. He went into detail about the evaluation at the end of the day and it was a bit of a spoiler for future students. Now on with Jon’s report…..


I am going to attempt to give my review of Valkyrie Defense “counter ambush concepts” course that I recently complete. It is detailed in nature to give a full review from all perspectives. That said it is hard to write this review objectively because I have known one of the instructors for almost 20 years now as a close friend. We have different tastes in many things which has always led to a friendly rivalry in approach and naturally an almost excessive amount of smack talk. This was no different in firearm choice, even down to a caliber standpoint. More on that later

I was very very hesitant to take the course when I was first invited. I recognized this was their first class beyond CHL courses and wanted to be supportive, but from the description was I ready? The description I got was combat effective accuracy, with significant stress, and working on applying drawing from a holster when faced with an ambush situation and applying counter effects to target. Hmmmm…. My holster situation has always been a self-conscious spot for me; what is comfortable and deployable versus what conceals against my thin and smaller frame? (NUOSU concealment, you get a shout out here because I like your work and we just haven’t had time to get together on the right concept). I was reassured just bring whatever it is that you conceal on a daily basis and we will figure it out from there. So I packed my cheap kydex IWB, which is so unpractical to draw from, and then brought my SERPA OWB that looks like I have a tumor growing. Combat effective accuracy??? I have always only practiced on making groups as tight as possible centered on the “X” ring. Am I really ready to sign up for being stressed and not focusing on accuracy?   This defied all logic in my head.

I show up for the morning, and already the smack talk emerges as I start to unpack my bags. Lets start with the gimme: yes I do have a range bag and it is made by Paul Mitchel. Your are correct the shampoo guy; the bag was free, it houses all my gear perfectly, I have had it for years, and I am starting to enjoy the hard time I get for it.   Next, I unpack my H&K USP compact and full size pistols. I routinely carry both of these guns and have found a comfort level with the grip, the mag release, mag size, and have enjoyed good accuracy with them. We debated technology aspects of creation, which from an engineer prospective I am very interested in (forged rifling…..HELLO!!! very cool). Enough of the personal smack talk on to the course work

The course started with a brief of why we are here and what we want to get out of the day. Surprising to me the range at which the majority (greater than 75%) of attacks occur; less than 10 feet. Why have I practiced shooting with a pistol at 20 yards for all of my life then? We discussed bullet design and the plus and minus; naturally I tried to crank up the discussion and get into the specifics of bullet design and ultimate choice. I was very satisfied with the opinions; heavy to caliber bullet weight and proven stoppers, forget the gimmick flavor of the month projectiles (I carry Winchester Ranger daily). Caliber choice from a medical standpoint; maybe my .40S&W with huge muzzle energy numbers isn’t that big of an advantage? My humility kicks in at this point; gun choice. What’s the best design from a citizen carry standpoint? We went through the positive and negative aspects and it made me rethink the trigger orientation of what I brought. Do I really want two different trigger configurations and two different sensitivities to train to get used to?

We discussed single action 1911 which was a major point of contention. As an owner of many 1911 I love to shoot them; at static targets, when I have time to flick off the safety, when I have time to reload after 8 rounds, when I have time to correct a FTF (I experience very few, but they are known to be finicky), etc etc etc…. Do I want that additional stressor in a gun fight?

Then we moved onto my beloved USP, double action first shot if I carry in condition one, and then short single action after that. There is a major difference in the trigger feel between the two.   Am I ready to be trained for how the trigger will react every time, am I really competent to put rounds on target with two different trigger pulls? For that matter could I push the safety off effectively every time I pulled from holster if I carried in condition two? It was a thought provoking discussion.

Double action only was the next topic, which my significant other carries often. The trigger pull is for days and I can never put rounds on target every time, nor very quickly.

Then we arrived at striker fired platforms. Yuck. Long trigger pull, no safety, how does this make sense. And then we discussed the technology and it has come a long way; short trigger reset and internal safeties helped to squelch my internal resistance to this being a viable option. Consistent trigger pull every time, no external safety to contend with, and good mag size. This may have merit. More later

Still in the classroom setting went onto the situation, the stress, the aftermath, and how to handle all of the above situations. What are the new trends in a dynamic situation, and how to identify yourself as a good guy rather than just the guy with a gun and shots fired in the area. That can be bad news if you don’t know how to enunciate who you are and your intentions.

Safety safety safety safety discussion. I couldn’t be happier with how that was presented

Off to the range. More safety talk. Great. We went to the point of if there is an accident, how do we make a 911 call, where are we, what do we say, how do we apply first aid. There were med bags on site, and the instructors were competent in describing and potentially applying first aid.

Lets talk shooting now ; start slow, practice with finger guns to understand the movement and what is really going on. I feel comfortable, but do the folks around me feel the same? The range officers helped to control that situation and address if there are any concerns. Proper grip was the start, followed by proper stance, punch out and the physics of why that is advantageous. Then we move on to put rounds down range. If you are making one hole that isn’t fast enough. Speed up! Combat accuracy is putting rounds in the center mass, not necessarily the same hole every time. Move on to draw from holster. Then assess your surroundings, then add your natural flinch reaction to a dynamic situation before drawing.

Then start engaging multiple targets, and during the assessment recall what critical information was happening around you. What can you recall was going on so you can recall why you are the good guy not the guy with a gun in a bad situation. Dial up the stress all day, speed up, speed up, speed up. If you do the drill wrong slow down and get it right then slow down. I was so frustrated with reloads I dropped a mag on the ground trying to get it right. Again slow down, get it right, then speed it back up to get in the stressed mind set.

Finally we ended the day with a drill that involved critical thinking to determine which target or targets to engage.

All in all I learned a ton, I applied stress to my shooting, recognized that rounds on target all count the same not just one ragged hole. I rethought my carry rig (I will still carry my DA/SA USP for now), but am actively searching for a new holster solution as well as deploying a new belt option. I have even considered sourcing a 9mm striker fired platform so I can take the course again and see if I improve. The instructors were approachable and funny, helped correct bad habits, and above all else applied safety as the most important part of the day.

I would recommend this course to anyone that has taken their CHL course (despite skill level) if for nothing else to see if your current carry rig is ready for the task. I don’t think there is a one size fits all approach to this question and comes down to what are you comfortable with when you are stressed. Be open minded, don’t be offended with differing opinions, and really think am I able to deploy my gear when stressed and be effective. I know I would question carrying some of my previous choices despite how tacticool we may think they are.


Thanks again to Jon for sharing his experience with us. If any of my readers from Ohio would like to join us or set up a CAC class please contact us by one of our many ways. The next Counter Ambush Concepts course will be held in Sugar Grove, Ohio on September 20th. There are rumblings of another to be scheduled in Coshocton before that so stay tuned to the Valkyrie Defense Group Facebook page and to the Absolute BS Blog Facebook as well. I am going to make a hard effort to cut down the waits in between posts. Thanks for sticking with me and thanks for supporting VDG and Absolute BS Blog.

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I know, I know. I have been MIA for about a month. Trust me I have a good excuse. I have been busy, extremely busy. I am currently sitting in a hotel in Warren Ohio rehydrating from a long hot day on the range participating in a Critical Defensive Handgun course put on by Safety Solutions Academy. Two weeks before this I was rolling around in the red Missouri dirt with Defensive Engagement Concepts in their Tac 2 pistol. I have taken tons of notes and have a lot of new concepts to use for topics later on. Obviously I will be doing an after action report for these classes as soon as I can get a breather. Unfortunately for the blog and my readers I will be back in a 3 day course in a little over a week then back to being the instructor instead of the student.

Long story short I am still alive and I have lived on a range nearly every weekend…. AND I LOVE IT. I am gaining more stuff to bring to the blog and to Valkyrie Defense Group. I am going to try to focus a little more on getting content out because we have picked up a few more readers from a lot of the VDG classes and I know they would like to hear more from me. (They told me.)

I hope you all have gotten out and got your fingers on some triggers and used the time you spend on the range effectively.

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