Color Codes of Mindset

The color code, as originally introduced by Jeff Cooper, had nothing to do with tactical situations or alertness levels, but rather with one’s state of mind. As taught by Cooper, it relates to the degree of peril you are willing to do something about and which allows you to move from one level of mindset to another to enable you to properly handle a given situation. Cooper did not claim to have invented anything in particular with the color code, but he was apparently the first to use it as an indication of mental state.

cooper-color-code

White: Unaware and unprepared. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy or ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty, your reaction will probably be “Oh my! This can’t be happening to me.”
Yellow: Relaxed alert. No specific threat situation. Your mindset is that “today could be the day I may have to defend myself”. You are simply aware that the world is a potentially unfriendly place and that you are prepared to defend yourself, if necessary. You use your eyes and ears, and realize that “I may have to shoot today”. You don’t have to be armed in this state, but if you are armed you should be in Condition Yellow. You should always be in Yellow whenever you are in unfamiliar surroundings or among people you don’t know. You can remain in Yellow for long periods, as long as you are able to “Watch your six.” (In aviation 12 o’clock refers to the direction in front of the aircraft’s nose. Six o’clock is the blind spot behind the pilot.) In Yellow, you are “taking in” surrounding information in a relaxed but alert manner, like a continuous 360 degree radar sweep. As Cooper put it, “I might have to shoot.”

Orange: Specific alert. Something is not quite right and has your attention. Your radar has picked up a specific alert. You shift your primary focus to determine if there is a threat (but you do not drop your six). Your mindset shifts to “I may have to shoot that person today”, focusing on the specific target which has caused the escalation in alert status. In Condition Orange, you set a mental trigger: “If that person does “X”, I will need to stop them”. Your pistol usually remains holstered in this state. Staying in Orange can be a bit of a mental strain, but you can stay in it for as long as you need to. If the threat proves to be nothing, you shift back to Condition Yellow.

Red: Condition Red is fight. Your mental trigger (established back in Condition Orange) has been tripped. “If ‘X’ happens I will shoot that person” — ‘X’ has happened, the fight is on.

The USMC uses “Condition Black,” although it was not originally part of Cooper’s color code. According to Massad Ayoob, “Condition Black,” in Cooper’s youth, meant “combat in progress.”

Ruger LCP .380 Tourture Test

A few months ago I was looking around and could not find anyone who had really beat up on a Ruger LCP.  Now, before you get upset,  I know this is not what the gun is designed to do.  I get it.  But I think it is valuable to see what a weapons system can take even if you never intend (nor should you) abuse it.

LCPTorture1Tease-1024x576

The pistol did fail, but was able to continue to work with some assistance to the slide.  I don’t carry the LCP often.  I am of the opinion it is not “enough gun” that I would want to use to defend myself.  But for those trips to the gym or other times you need a small pocket gun, you would be hard pressed to find a better option (for the money).

Part 1: https://youtu.be/qmiBWA_a8Eg?t=43s

Part 2: https://youtu.be/zmvniDSzLsk?t=39s

Update the “Software” between your ears.

The late Jeff Cooper was one of the true pioneers of weaponcraft in the US. His numerous accomplishments include founder of Gunsite Ranch, editor at large of Guns & Ammo magazine, winner of the Outstanding American Handgunner award in 1995, Rangemaster Emeritus of the US Practical Shooting Assn. and long-time member of the board of directors of the National Rifle Association. He was a United States Marine, the creator of the “modern technique” of handgun shooting, and an expert on the use and history of small arms.

Even though we have moved beyond some of the techniques he taught he is still the foundation and put together some of the best “software” for cultivating a good mindset.  One of his books I think should be required reading, Principles of Personal Defense.  It’s a short book and be found online for less than $20.

 

“It is a classic, timeless work, encapsulated in a clear, concise, and succinct form………….it should be read, studied, and then periodically re-read and re-studied. No matter how many times you read it, you will always find one more pearl of wisdom that you missed during the last read.”

–Louis Awerbuck

 

New Gen5 Glock?

Are new Glocks coming?  Looks like it!

Check out this image from The Firearm Blog:

unnamed-5

Breaking: Photo Of The New FBI Glock 17M Leaked

  • A new tougher finish
  • Changes in the rifling
  • Longer recoil spring assembly
  • Reinforced forward notch for the recoil spring assembly
  • A smoother trigger similar to the G42/43
  • Flared magwell
  • No finger grooved
  • Changes in the safety plunger
  • Ambidextrous slide release
  • Magazines have an extended front lip
  • Magazine well cutout

sadASD-495x660

 

1st Review of S&W Shield

It is no secret that I recommend the S&W Shield 9mm with no reservation.  Here is the first review I made of the pistol.  One change, after the installation of the APEX trigger kit, I have no complaints about the trigger.

https://youtu.be/jKl1CfvIOHg?t=2m14s

I, as most everyone else in the world, heard about the Smith & Wesson Shield due to the big hype of its release.  Since then I have heard seemingly endless praise for this little pistol.  I was skeptical as always; primarily because most gun reviews tend to be positive, and leave out those little nuggets which would lead one to find a gun to be sub-par in the name of selling advertising.  Casey was able to acquire one through a friend, who got it from a third friend, and it was not until Casey got and recommend it that Justin took a real serious look at the pistol, and purchased one for himself.

The Shield by design seems to be the ideal carry weapon.  Slim, light, decent caliber selection, full size sights, standard controls, and enough of a grip to fit most of your hand.

Initially, primary concerns were trigger, handling, and recoil.  Many of these small 9mm and larger caliber guns are simply not fun to shoot.  They tend to be snappy and generally difficult to shoot.  You might find one with a good trigger, but it has poor sights.  The next one recoils smoothly but has a nightmare of a trigger.  Does the Shield do it all and do it all well?

Trigger

The trigger is the best one I have found from M&P.  It is still far from a 1911 or well worn Glock, but it is noticeably improved.  The consensus from many others is a APEX trigger is a must for M&Ps. The “tactical” trigger that comes in the Shield is a marked improvement over S&Ws initial offerings in the M&P line, but it still isn’t great. It is great comparatively, but in the grand scheme not as good as could be. But, Its not so bad I feel the need to run out an buy an APEX trigger kit RIGHT NOW. Maybe later…or not.

UPDATE: I later purchased the kit and it is well worth the money 🙂

2013 08 27 Shield Shoot 3 copy

Controls

KISS – It has everything you need, out of the way, plain and simple.  I had no issues operating the gun or its controls.  One thing that I think would be a good improvement or addition is in the area of the safety.  If you are so inclined as to use the Shield’s safety, I think it needs to be a little bigger.  The current full sized M&Ps have a 1911 style safety that would be at home in a reduced size form on the shield.  There is perhaps a market for an after market manufacturer to offer an upgraded part.

I didn’t use the safety much, but was impressed with the ease at which the safety is disengaged.  It seems to be a potentially heated topic to discussion, to safety or not, with the Shield.  But so far, I have not utilized it.

CAVEAT: Casey carries his in a Gen 1 Raven Concealment Vanguard in the Appendix position. He uses the safety and would like a little larger lever.

2013 08 27 Shield Shoot 6 copy

Reliability

I shot a random mixture of 115-147 grain 9mm, FMJ, HP, and even some steal cased stuff.  I had 1 failure to extrract with steal ammo and that was it.  My range session was by no means a torture or reliability test.  I did however think it was telling that the one time I stacked the ammo in the magazine by type, I felt no significant difference.

 

Accuracy

I didn’t do any accuracy tests.  Most shots were from 15 yards on a 2/3 IPSC steal target.  The steel was freshly painted to show all hits.  I then stepped back to 25, first shot “Ding!” then walked to 50 yards, first shot, “Ding!”  I hope to do some more work at distance, but so far the Shield seems more than capable at distances far greater than its intended role.

2013 08 27 Shield Shoot 15 copy

Recoil

I was pleasantly surprised that the recoil of the Shield was a non-issue.  I was able to drive the gun very well and shoot reasonably fast.  Time will tell, but after the first range session I would say that I can shoot it just as well and fast (maybe a little faster) than my GLOCK 26.

Feel

It feels a little loose in the hands without finger grooves or a palm swell to help drive your hand upwards to the axis of bore, but as I shot, it didn’t prove to be a big issue.  The Shield didn’t try to jump out of my hand like some other subcompacts I have shot.  I think it might benefit from some stippling or grip work, but I feel very confident with it in stock form. It does get a bit slick when sweaty.

Availability 

Shields have been very difficult to find until recently.  They seem to be showing up on most stores shelves now.  BUT, expect to pay more than the sub-$400 MSRP.  I got mine for $450 and by coincidence drove by this sign for one for $507.  So, they are out there, but still inflated in price.

2013 08 27 Shield Shoot 18 copy

 

Conclusion

I think the Shield has a lot of potential to be an excellent daily carry for the average CCW, off duty, etc.  It is really the ideal minimalist carry option.  I am currently carrying it in a BladeTech IWB Holster. I have a few others on order, but so far the BladeTech is serving me well.

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 10.59.53 PM      Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 10.59.59 PM

 

 

UPDATE:

For those of you who haven’t seen the safety bulletin from Smith & Wesson, see the vid and check your gun. I don’t know how wide spread a problem it has been, but S&W will fix it if is not right.

http://youtu.be/jsQWGS-P9Pk