Close Quarters Tactics (CQT) with Randy Cain

This past weekend I joined thirteen others in taking a Close Quarters Tactics class at Southern Exposure Training in Lakeland with Randy Cain.

The class has two major focuses (foci?):

  1. Some hand to hand techniques to retain your firearm or disarm an opponent.
  2. Incorporating the hand to hand techniques into the overall firearm system.

Training Days

Louis Awerbuck's Shotgun Class

I just got back from taking Louis Awerbuck's Tactical Shotgun I class. My only previous experience with the Shotgun is Randy Cain's Shotgun I class (see my write up here) about two years ago, and a few trap shooting outings with friends.

Basic Gunhandling - Loading and Unloading

Here are some basic techniques for loading and unloading a gun. While you practice these, you will want to practice the four laws of gun safety, particularly focusing on 2 and 3: 2) Never let the muzzle cover anything you don't want to destroy (including your own body parts); 3) keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot.

You'll also want to obtain some snap caps (fake bullet cartridges) to make you practice session safer.

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Gun Safety - Keep your finger off the trigger

A few days ago, I posted a story about a shotgun that seemed to be unloaded when it actually was loaded. Today, I'd like to talk about a different kind of safety violation—the one ultimately responsible for probably the majority of all gun accidents: putting your finger on the trigger. But a movie is worth 10,000 words, so watch the videos, and then we'll talk.

Gun Safety--A Story

I just saw this story on

Randy Cain's Shotgun Class

One of the best things about Randy's classes is his encyclopedic knowledge firearms equipment. Randy's philosophy is that the most important aspect of a defensive weapon is that it is reliable, and the goal of shooting is to hit the target. As a result his gear selection tends toward the tried and true, with availability of replacement parts weighing strongly in his selection. Hence, his choice of shotgun is the Remington 870 as much for its ubiquity and availability of parts as for its inherent reliability.

Moreover, you will get a chance to see other people with various options and how they work, giving you ideas for your own gear, both what works and what doesn't. And of course Randy will try to help you steer clear of transfer devices—gear whose main purpose is to transfer your money to the vendor.

This fall, I took Randy Cain's Shotgun class. In preparation for the class, I have already posted a couple articles on the shotgun in general and what to look for in a Remington 870. Now that I have taken the Shotgun class, I will be posting an article on recommended modifications to the Remington 870. But this article is dedicated to the class itself.

Videos from the class are available for friends and family. E-mail me.

Day 1

Shotgun I is the second class that I have attended with Randy, and it followed the same pattern as Tactical Handgun 101. The first thing is a discussion on safety. You will learn Jeff Cooper's safety rules for firearm safety word for word. Following safety is a general orientation to the shotgun as a whole and the Remington 870 in particular (everyone in our class had an 870) including how to load and how to unload the shotgun.

Then we were out on the firing line with buckshot to pattern the guns. Patterning consists of shooting buckshot at paper at varying distances to see what the pattern (or shot distribution looks like). You will need (at least) six rounds of two different types of buckshot (12 total) There are three reasons for this exercise:

  1. It helps you determine the best ammunition for your shotgun. Every barrel shoots every load differently.
  2. It helps you to understand your shotgun's capabilities with buckshot at various distances.
  3. It demonstrates the folly of the Hollywood school of shotguns. At 7 seven yards (across the room distance), the pattern on my shotgun was only 4 inches across—so much for the "just point and you can't miss" myth.

We exchanged our buckshot for birdshot and went to the steel plates and practiced various drills such as firing on the move, searching, and Rolling Thunder. Rolling thunder is a team exercise designed to put you under a bit of stress while manipulating the shotgun as quickly as possible just to keep it loaded. We would repeat Rolling Thunder with different variations several times over the next few days. This was followed by a competition to see who could knock down three steel plates the quickest.

Outside Reading: Review of Randy Cain's Practical Rifle

From: 1911 Forum

Synopsis: BulldogSix gives an report of Randy Cain's Practical Rifle class. The class is meant for bolt action, hunting type rifles with either iron sights or low power scopes. Randy's recommendation on the ideal rifle to take the class with is a Winchester M70 in .308 (pre 64 or classic) with Leupold 1.75-6X VX3 or Leupold 1.5-5X VX3 scope.

Choosing a Remington 870 Pump Shotgun

In the last article I highlighted some of the major choices that must be made in choosing a shotgun.  Having narrowed my choice to a Remington 870, I thought that I simply needed to find the best price on one and buy it.  If only it were that simple.  This article will detail some of the choices and options available for the Remington 870.

The first thing to understand is that the Remington 870 comes in four different models or levels:

Shotguns: Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

Those famous words were spoken by Wesley (Cary Elwes) in The Princess Bride in response to Vizzini's convoluted arguments.  I feel the same about anyone who can understand all of the intricacies of firearms.  I have already written about some of my adventures into the realm of handguns, but this did nothing to prepare me for the dizzying variety in the world of shotguns.  Shotguns have infinitely more variety than handguns

Choosing a handgun: What kind of trigger action (Updated)

One of the most confusing aspects of choosing a handgun is choosing a trigger action.  The discussion of trigger action can get very confusing very quickly, especially since some of the same words can mean different things when talking about revolvers or semi-automatics.

If you don't care about the definitions and just want to know what to get, here are the Randy Cain recommendations:

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