27 October 2017

In view of the latest FBI warnin...

The FBI recently issued a warning indicating that drone attacks could be imminent. Not military drones but civilian, hobby type drones. The question arose concerning the best way to defeat them, or IF we could defeat them in the absence of electronic jamming equipment.

There's a lot of country to cover here so I'll give you my opinion on a number of issues concerning the shotgun for drone defense. Is it feasible? Is it even possible? Well, yes and yes but there are some things to consider...

Opinions on the shotgun vary widely as it is a grossly misunderstood weapon. I am a huge fan of the shotgun, within its limitations, and I have many, many years experience to back me up. 

Before we get too carried away. this entry from my blog is particularly interesting concerning the shotgun for self-defense purposes.


Now, on to the matter at hand... 

When I figured out that they were talking about civilian drones, that changed things dramatically from what I first thought. A first, I assumed they were talking about light duty military drones. Yo know, something between a Predator and a Radio Shack special.

Most civilian drones can be taken down pretty effectively at 100 yards or maybe a little more with anything from #2 birdshot to #4 buckshot out of a modified or full choked shotgun. Smaller than #2 would lack energy at that range but would probably be fine inside of 50 yards or so. 00 or 000 would have oodles of energy at that range but pattern density would be too sparse. Most civilian drones are pretty fragile so high velocity for this particular purpose is pretty insignificant except for the slight increase in range. Steel shot will be faster out the gate but loses steam quickly due to both a lower ballistic coefficient and sectional density of steel. Steel offers much better penetration on SOME targets but that will not be a factor on civilian drones. 

What will 00 buck do at that range? My cylinder bore, Mossberg 590 with 20" barrel puts all 9 pellets in a 12" circle at 25 yards with good quality ammo. That's 4' at 100 yards. With only 9 pellets in the standard 2.75" shotshell, the chances of lucking even a single pellet into an 18-24" wide drone are not great. However, 2 or 3 shots or 2 men shooting together will have a much better chance. Obviously, #4 buck or #2 birdshot would offer a much denser pattern. 

I did some testing on man-sized targets back in about 1999 or so. I placed 3, FBI B-27 targets shoulder to shoulder at 100 yards and shot at them with a Rem 870 with a 20", cylinder bore barrel. If I aimed about head high at middle guy, I would put 3 pellets in the upper torso of the middle guy and 2 in each of the other guys with monotonous regularity. That would leave 2 or 3 pellets addressed to "Whom it May Concern". What that tells me is that during the Zombie Apocalypse (or any high density, hostile crowd situation) you could start thinning them out pretty rapidly starting at about 125 yards or so, depending on your ammo supply. 

So...if you have taken the time to read all this mess, it should probably answer most questions that might have about this subject. One of the biggest issues I see with most weapons is people trying to over think the answer to what usually turns out to be a software problem instead if a hardware problem. I try to keep about 90% of my training based around the KISS concept with the notion that we will, at some point, be forced to use what we can find, not the latest, greatest stuff you see in Guns & Ammo. 

With that last sentence in mind, you might also be interested in this video... 


23 October 2017


26 JANUARY 1997

Prepared for Wyoming Game & Fish Dept.
by Cope Reynolds
Cody School of Practical Shooting
POB 914
CODY WY 82414

Bullet Performance on Big Game

I wrote the following piece back in 1997 and submitted it to both the Wyoming Game & Fish Department and the Wyoming legislature in an effort to interject some common sense into the hunting regulations which I supposed at the time were written by people that had neither shot nor hunted much. My biggest gripe was allowing the .243 for elk, moose, etc. along with a couple of other issues. Before you get the pitchforks and torches out, please read the article...


The purpose of this report is to provide information concerning the minimum caliber restrictions for elk and moose. I do not claim to be an expert, however I am a lifelong hunter, handloader, competitive shooter and professional firearms instructor. Being a hunter does not keep me from being sympathetic towards any animal that is not harvested cleanly and swiftly.

I would like to see the caliber restrictions raised to a larger caliber in an effort to reduce the chance that animals will be left to die from infection, predators or the elements. I feel that the current restrictions were created more from biased opinion and/or public pressure than from the actual study of terminal ballistics, both in the field and from the numerous manuals and reports that are available to the public.

This is not to say that, in the hands of a responsible sportsman and expert rifleman, the .243 Winchester will not cleanly take an elk. But, if you consider misjudgement of distance, wind speed, nervousness, fatigue, overconfidence, inexperience, failing light conditions or bad shot placement you will almost certainly have a wounded animal to try and recover. I also understand that we will lose some animals no matter what we use, but by using a larger caliber and prohibiting some types of bullets, we can help compensate for those factors that prevent perfect shot placement.

In the following text, I will present a number of facts that should help to explain why we should increase the minimum caliber allowed for elk and moose.

Energy vs. Momentum

Webster describes momentum as “the product of a body’s mass and linear velocity.” Mass of a body is best described as the physical volume or bulk of a solid object.

I’m not trying to turn this into a physics class, but the figures that one derives from various ballistics tables and product advertising are expressed in foot pounds of energy and do not take into account the bullet’s diameter. Diameter must be included to determine mass. These figures are very misleading and mean nothing when comparing bullets of different calibers.

In an extreme example, a 180 grain, .30 caliber bullet fired at 2700 feet per second (fps) will generate 2913 ft. lbs. of energy (fpe). In contrast, a 5 grain, .177 caliber BB fired at 16,250 fps will generate 2932 fpe. Does this mean that the BB is equally suited to big game hunting as the .30-06? I think not. While both show the same theoretical energy in the printed ballistics tables, they will not deliver the same energy to the target.

By factoring in the diameter of the bullet, you have realistic means with which to compare the striking force of any projectile at any speed or distance. This formula is commonly referred to as the “Taylor Factor” or the Taylor Knockout Factor”. TKO for short. By applying this formula in cartridge comparisons you will come to understand why the venerable .30-30 still accounts for more than it’s fair share of big game every year even with its modest, advertised 1762 ft. lbs of “energy”.

Neither of these formulas takes into account the performance of the bullet which, along with proper shot placement, is ultimately the deciding factor in bringing home the bacon (or venison). However, the Taylor Factor will give you a way to compare the force applied at impact which is directly proportional to the bullet’s ability to smash bone and penetrate heavy muscle. The .243 class of cartridges generally lacks the momentum and proper bullet construction to reliably penetrate the shoulder bone, that often covers the vitals and still reach the vitals intact.

Bullet Performance

The variables in this topic are virtually endless so I will try to sum it up in a reasonable amount of time.

There is a happy medium somewhere between full metal jacketed, non-expanding bullets that cause almost no tissue damage or trauma and the hollow point bullet that may expand too rapidly and cause shallow but grievous flesh wounds that may cause an animal to die a slow, lingering death. Remember that we are talking about big game here, not rabbits and coyotes.

There are no jacketed hollow point rifle bullets, to my knowledge, that are expressly made for big game. The exception to this are the homogeneously made bullets such as the Barnes-X bullet which is an outstanding performer on almost any size game. These bullets are not jacketed but are constructed throughout of the same material, therefore usually providing perfectly controlled expansion and a devastating wound channel. The overwhelming majority of hollow points (for rifles) are made either for varmint hunting or target shooting and will reliably offer the penetration and proper expansion needed for a humane kill on big game. They either expand too violently allowing little penetration or, in the case of match-grade hollowpoints, due to a manufacturing process that leaves a very small opening, may collapse inward causing the bullet to perform more like a full metal jacketed bullet. Neither of which is conducive to quick, clean kills.

My idea for the restriction of hollow point rifle bullets stems from the fact that I know at least 3 people that regularly hunt elk with them, with varying degrees of success. I know one man that hunted elk last year with a .243 Win. using 75 grain hollow points. I was appalled that anyone would use a varmint bullet on any big game much less an elk or a moose. It’s a shame that we have to place legal restrictions on something that should be regulated by common sense and respect for our quarry. Luckily, this hunter was successful but the elk was no more than a calf. The same hunter wounded a large cow on the previous weekend that my wife finished off with a .30-06.

Handgun Bullets

This hollow point data does not necessarily apply to traditional, straight-walled handgun cartridges or such rifle cartridges as the .45-70 and .444 Marlin. These are hollow soft points that are designed to expand controllably at lower velocities and penetrate as well. They do not exhibit the violence of the higher velocity rifle bullets. The regulations specify soft or expanding point bullets. This is logical for high velocity rifle bullets but, by the letter of the law, restricts a couple of the most effective handgun bullets made, the hard cast flat nose and semi-wadcutter. These bullets, unlike roundnose bullets, remove tissue to its full diameter which causes free bleeding entrance and exit wounds and allows air to get to the heart very rapidly. Organ and tissue damage is guaranteed and penetration is usually complete. The probability of one shot kills with these bullets is very high if properly placed.


This report is more than one man’s opinion. I have done a considerable amount of research on the subject to be certain that I was armed with enough evidence to make a case. In light of these facts, coupled with the experience of myself and others, I would very much like to see the minimum rifle caliber raised to at least .25 and preferably .27 for elk and moose and the banning of jacketed hollow points that are not designed specifically for big game hunting.

In the accompanying table please note the degree of contrast between Energy and Striking Force (TKO) in any given caliber, then see the difference in the TKO between some of the most popular big game calibers.

According to the Energy table, the .223 Rem. would be better suited for big game than the .44 Magnum. However, the .44 equals the .30-06 at the muzzle in the TKO table. You will find that the .30-30 and the .257 Roberts both have more striking force at 300 yards than either of the .243 bullets. Even the .357 Magnum rivals the .243 at 100 yards and the .357 is illegal!

You have rightfully specified expanding bullets but I ask you to please consider these recommendations for the same reasons.

In the vast expanses of Wyoming in which we hunt, many hunters are overcome with the temptation to shoot at distances that are totally unreasonable for any caliber. The .243, being touted as a flat shooting, long range rifle, is relatively easy to hit with at these ranges and is therefore expected (by some people) to do the same things that the “big” guns do. The same person, shooting a .30-30 or .44 Magnum, would probably not be tempted to make the same shot.

You can call it stopping power, knockdown power, energy, momentum, striking force or whatever you want, but the .243 caliber in any cartridge, absolutely does not have enough of it to be reliable on animals the size of a horse!

If you wish to figure some other cartridges, here are both formulas:
Foot Pounds of Energy:

Velocity (in FPS) squared x weight (in grains)÷ 450,400 = ft. lbs.

The Taylor Factor:

Velocity x Caliber (in inches)x weight ÷ 7000=Taylor Knockout Factor (TKO)


CRTG/WEIGHT VELOCITY              ENERGY/ FTLBS                     TAYLOR FACTOR  
                                    MUZZLE  100 yds.   300 yds.          MUZZLE  100 yds.  300 yds.

.223 Rem/55Gr  3200 FPS   1330        1011        558                 5.6        4.9          3.6

.243 Win/75      3300 FPS   1813       1458         918                 8.6        7.7          5.6

.243 Win/100    2900 FPS    1867       1584       1083                10.1        9.2          7.7

.257 RBTS/75    3300 FPS    1813       1412        826                 9.1         8.0          6.1

.257 RBTS/100   3000 FPS    1998       1662       1124                11.0      10.0          8.3

.257 RBTS/120   2800 FPS    2089       1760       1225                12.3       13.3         9.4

.270 WIN/100    3400 FPS     2566        2086       1349               13.4       12.1         9.8

.270 WIN/150    2800 FPS     2611        2257       1663               16.6       15.5        13.3

.30-30 WIN/150  2300 FPS    1762       1175          501               15.2       12.4         8.1

.30-06/165        2900 FPS     3081       2594        1803               21.0       19.3        16.1

.338 WM/225     2800 FPS     3916       3304        2307                30.4       28.0        23.3

.45-70/300        1600 FPS     1705       1134         638                31.4        25.6        19.2


  CRTG/WEIGHT     VELOCITY               ENERGY/ FTLBS                       TAYLOR FACTOR          
                                           MUZZLE    100 yds.   300 yds.        MUZZLE   100 yds.  300 yds.

7MM TCU/120      2300 FPS        1409        1141        728               11.2         9.1         8.1

.44 MAG/265       1300 FPS        1126          801        534               21.1        17.8       14.5

.357 MAG/158     1400 FPS          593          412        N/A               10.5          8.7        N/A

In Liberty, Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

If you'd like to help support our efforts, you can do so by donating to The Shooting Bench by clicking the "DONATE" button below!
Listen to Cope live on The Shooting Bench Mon and Wed, 8 to 9pm MST and Friday, 8 to 10PM.

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Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends. 
GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!

20 October 2017

Air is not a target!

I have talked about this on my radio show many times. It's real when it happens. It happens a lot more than people realize. And when you correct people on the range or in the field for it, you have to listen to a bunch of whining and BS because sometimes untrained, long time shooters are so much smarter than everyone else.

What am I talking about? Raining bullets or less dramatically, bullets falling from the sky. I spoke once of the 5 year old girl in Albuquerque that was hit in the top of the head with a 7.62x39 bullet fired by a yet to be found reveler on New Years Eve quite a few years ago. The Amish girl who was stuck and killed while traveling alone in her horse drawn buggy, minding her own business on a back road in Pennsylvania about 10 years ago or so. She was killed by an oblivious hunter who had "unloaded" his muzzleloader by shooting into the air. There are many, many stories of people being wounded or killed or property damaged from raining bullets. That kind of foolishness resulted in the enactment of Shannon's Law here in Arizona which makes it a felony to randomly shoot firearms up in the air. Shannon Smith was standing in her backyard talking to a friend on the phone in 1999 when a bullet fell from the sky and killed her instantly. 

Any of my students can attest to the fact that in my classes, I am adamant about clearing malfunctions and performing reloads with the muzzle pointing downrange as much as practicable and not up in the air or directed over the impact berm on range. Obviously, close quarters combat or shooting from cover or concealment may bend those rules dramatically but the one constant is... ALWAYS KEEP YOUR WEAPON POINTED IN THE "SAFEST" POSSIBLE DIRECTION! Yes, there are ways to be fast, efficient AND safe!

There was a long and spirited discussion on Kathy Jackson's page a few days ago on this subject. Some very intelligent, responsible comments and a few typical responses from people who are more than likely self-taught and love to impress people on Facebook with their knowledge (or lack of).
With gun safety, many times you only have one chance to do it right. Regardless of the statistics or the odds, it is better to be safe than sorry.
And then this came over my feed to once again concrete my feelings on this...

In Liberty, Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona
If you'd like to help support our efforts, you can do so by donating to The Shooting Bench by clicking the "DONATE" button below!
Listen to Cope live on The Shooting Bench
Mon and Wed, 8 to 9pm Pacific/11pm to midnite Eastern and Friday, 8 to 10PM Pacific.
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Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends. 
GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!

02 October 2017

The Mandalay Bay shooting

I thought I'd better weigh in on this before it gets out of hand any worse than it already has.

First, I just love to hear all the stupid conspiracy crap that floods Facebook in a matter of hours after a tragedy like this. "The CIA did it!", "That's impossible for one shooter!", "Its impossible for someone to do with an AK at that distance. They're so inaccurate", "There was more than one gun because I could definitely hear a second gun!". 

The number of self-proclaimed weapons experts that magically appear is simply staggering!

Let's calm down and think about this for a minute...

The people that are claiming that an AK couldn't have done this have never shot an AK at medium ranges before.

#1. He was shooting (spraying) into a very heavy crowd. Over 22,000 people, not individual targets. There was literally a sea of bodies. It would have been much harder to miss than to hit shooting into that crowd. Some say that the body count would have been much higher if he would have used slow, deliberate, aimed fire. I disagree. Ordinarily I'm not an advocate of full-auto fire except in the case of suppressive fire. When you have a battalion of enemy approaching your position, full-auto is the cat's meow. When you have a sniper in a tree 500 yards away, not so much. If the firing had been slow and methodic in this case, the crowd would have dispersed long before he had time to shoot over 500 people. No, the full-auto was the perfect weapon in this case. How could he shoot that many? Again, he was using fully automatic fire, not semi. He shot hundreds, perhaps thousands of rounds in just a few minutes. How many of those bullets fully penetrated bodies and went on hit one or more afterwards? I'm also quite sure that many were also hit by ricochets off the concrete.

Another expert said he would have had to have used x number of magazines to fire that many shots and it would have taken too long..blah, blah, blah. It would be funny if it weren't so stupid. He was most likely using 75-round drums. Those of you that I texted about this heard me say that at 11pm last night .

#2. " It was over 3 football fields away! AK's are not capable of that kind of accuracy!" Long story short, yes they are. AK's and AR's are both capable of effective accuracy at that range.

Most any AK in decent mechanical condition will shoot 4" groups or so at 100 yards. That's 12" at 300 yards. That's plenty good enough to hit man-sized targets when you're spaying into a target-rich area. My personal AK will shoot into 18" at 500 yards.

#3. Yes, it was full-auto fire. Definitely NOT a bump fire device or trigger crank. PERIOD! Any fluctuation in sound was likely due to the source of the recording moving around plus the fact that the rate of fire of most full-auto weapons speeds up as the receiver and barrel heat up.

4. No, I do not believe that there were 2 weapons shooting at the same time. What sounds like a second gun is simply the echo of the one gun off the concrete walls. Anyone that has fired in a canyon with steep rock cliffs experienced the same thing.

In a nutshell, this was perfectly planned and executed with a good choice of weapons and was extremely feasible.

Now then, let's talk about something else.
I, and many others, have warned for the last couple of years to STAY AWAY FROM LARGE CROWDS!!! Need I say more?

If you think you have to go to a stupid concert or crowded mall, stay near the edges close to cover and/or exits! Stay alert! Scan the area every few minutes and try to locate barriers that might stop a bullet just in case you happen to get to get caught in a situation like that. Cars, brick, block or concrete walls or pillars, dumpsters, etc.

One girl in one of the videos said "Get down! Stay down!". Why? Probably because that's what she heard in a movie. In this particular instance, the correct response would have been, "RUN! DON'T LOOK BACK AND DON'T STOP!!" Since he was just spraying into the crowd, there's no guarantee that you wouldn't have been hit but it would have been less likely. In the video, people were in shock and disbelief. Hundreds of them just milled around having no inkling as to what they should do. And the body just kept rising...

Like it or not, sadly, this is the America we live in now. This will not be an isolated incident. We simply MUST learn that this is rapidly becoming our new normal. Like Israel and many other Middle Eastern countries. It has become a way of life and they learn to live with it. So must we.

Lastly, for the millionth time, be armed ALL the time. ALL THE TIME! Be vigilant. Get trained. Carrying a gun is not enough. In the case of the shooting in Las Vegas, a CCW holder probably couldn't have done much but 90% of the time, a good guy with a gun...

In Liberty, Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

If you'd like to help support our efforts, you can do so by donating to The Shooting Bench by clicking the "DONATE" button below!
Listen to Cope live on The Shooting Bench Mon and Wed, 8 to 10pm Pacific/11pm to 1am Eastern and Friday, 8 to 10PM Pacific.
 "The Shooting Bench" Podcast: The Shooting Bench    

Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends. 
     GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!

21 September 2017

Attention Antifa!

ANTIFA, you are about to let your alligator mouth overrun your hummingbird ass!

In response to recent events, threats and mindless, babbling rhetoric including a threatening letter from you claiming that you will start a civil war if Trump and Pence are not removed from office, let me attempt to save you some time and maybe a few of your miserable lives. You children are about to get in WAY over your head!

Let me make this crystal clear and stunningly simple...

The real patriots of this country will NOT let anything happen to our President or his family without a swift and sure response. While we may not agree with everything he says and does, he IS our President! If anything happens to him, the vice-president or their families or any other liberty-minded elected official, retaliation will be swift and sure. You are out-gunned and out-trained and out-smarted. Our response will be relentless and merciless. There will be no place on this planet where you will be safe. Put simply, you will be hunted down and dealt with like the rabid mongrels that you are.

Signed ever so sincerely,
LFA III%, WMM and every other real patriot in his country.

09 July 2017


Some of you may want to look at this and get something similar going in your areas...

In Liberty, Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona
 If you'd like to help support our efforts, you can do so by donating to The Shooting Bench by clicking the "DONATE" button below!
Listen to Cope live on The Shooting Bench Mon and Wed, 8 to 9pm Pacific/11pm to midnite Eastern and Friday, 8 to 10pm Pacific.
 "The Shooting Bench" Podcast: The Shooting Bench  

Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends. GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!

24 February 2017

Online Training Scam

Let me share, once again, a warning about the biggest online scam in the concealed carry industry. It's called Concealed Carry Online and they have banned me from their page for telling the truth. I noticed some of my friends have "Liked" this page. I assume that's because you either didn't read the information on the page or you don't fully understand it.

This is a long post but please read it and let me explain it to you.
Please read this if you are considering Concealed Online and share this with everyone that may be thinking about using it... PLEASE!

Training scam

A word of warning about what I consider to be nothing but a scam. There is a company that runs an ad on FB that is full of fear mongering, misinformation and downright lies. It is misleading and as far as I'm concerned, dishonest.
They start out with this stark warning!

"[WARNING: The government might take this right away from you at any moment!]"

Right. Ok, they've shown us right off the bat that they have no knowledge of the origin or security of our rights. Be that as it may, let's move on...

Then, in the second sentence, "The government is making it harder for you to enjoy your Second Amendment rights.", which is simply not true. In fact, its just the opposite. For the first time in history, concealed carry is available and legal in some form in all fifty states. Some better than others but every state has provisions for a concealed carry permit. About 15 states also now have permitless or "constitutional" carry with legislation moving forward in more.

Third sentence:

"Law-abiding American citizens like you and me are being put in danger because we don't have access to the life-saving firearms we need"

Really? See my statement above plus consider that firearms are available in all 50 states although they are quite restricted in a couple of them. Also, how does this permit give any more access to firearms than you already had?

Then they make this claim:

"There were 372 mass shootings in our country in 2015--shootings that could have taken your life or the life of a family member"
While this is probably true, they fail to mention that most or all of these shootings occurred in gun-free zones where your CCW would have likely been illegal anyway.

Their next ridiculous claim is this:

"Qualify for the Concealed Carry Permit that's Valid in Over Half the Country: Take the Test for Free!"

I have a newsflash here for everyone. There are many CCW permits that are recognized in over half the country. This is absolutely nothing new or earth-shattering. Arizona, Virginia, New Mexico, Utah, Florida just to name a few.
Way down towards the bottom, they make this utterly ridiculous claim:
"Smart Americans can still take advantage of this "legal loophole"... but you have to act before the government tries to stop you!"

As I said, THERE IS NO LEGAL LOOPHOLE! Jeez Louise! Lots of states have this similar program and the gov't isn't trying to anything about it!

Now that they have you convinced that this is THE permit that will allow you to carry in over half the country and have you sufficiently scared that the government has not only tried once but may try again to take this freedom away, you're ready for the next big step!

All you need to do now is answer 6 questions that will "qualify" you for your "free" training and, if I understand it correctly, you pay $65 for the "eligibility certificate" that allows you to take said free training! Now all you have to do is take your token little online NRA or equivalent class (which, by the way, is offered by literally dozens of other places across the country), send a copy of your $65 certificate and other required documents to Virginia DPS and you can get a permit that will allow you to carry in 6 or 7 less states than the AZ permit does.

And they top it off with this gentle reminder...

"This freedom might be taken away, so you need to take action to protect yourself immediately."

Alrighty then.

BTW, to get this same permit, most of you already have adequate documentation of training. All you need is proof of a hunter safety class, certificate from any NRA certified class or several simple things that most all of us all of ready have.

The Virginia CCW permit is not a bad permit to have but it gets you absolutely nothing that several other permits don't already have and less than some. If you want the best permit America has to offer, get the AZ permit without going through all this BS.

Buyer beware!

In Liberty, Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

If you'd like to help support our efforts, you can do so by donating to The Shooting Bench by clicking the "DONATE" button below!
Listen to Cope live on The Shooting Bench Mon and Wed, 8 to 9pm Pacific/11pm to 12am Eastern and Friday, 8 to 10PM Pacific.
 "The Shooting Bench" Podcast: The Shooting Bench    

Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends. GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!