Back in the teaching saddle after five Christmas season weeks of sabbatical where all I had to work on was writing and some legal consults, I’m reminded of two of the reasons I love my work training ( One, of course, is the quality of the people I teach. Shooter folk are the best. But the other is the quality of people I get to teach with.

My teaching year of 2018 began with a CLE (Continuing Legal Education) credit class for attorneys at a firearms law seminar hosted by the brilliant law book publisher Steve Shaw of Shaw Publishing in South Carolina.  The weekend after, we did a 2-day MAG-20 Armed Citizens Rules of Engagement class in Charlotte.  Then it was on to Texas, where Karl Rehn at KR Training ( hosted my colleague Marty Hayes and me for a five-day, 48-hour Deadly Force Instructor course. Marty runs Firearms Academy of Seattle, one of the premier training facilities in the Pacific Northwest, and also heads the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network which essentially founded the new cottage industry of legal fee and trial strategy support for ordinary folks charged or sued after defending themselves. Karl, our host, is one of the brightest lights in modern tactical training and research.

As I write this, I’m preparing to fly to northern Virginia for another MAG-20 Armed Citizens Rules of Engagement class, hosted this time by John Murphy.  The day is coming soon when John will retire from a distinguished military career and go full time teaching, at FPF Training, the citizens he now protects to protect themselves.  From there, it’s on to another MAG-20 in Alabama at ShootRite Academy with the legendary Tiger McKee, and then a MAG-40 class hosted by masterful instructor Herman Gunter in north Florida. The MAG-40 is the two intensive days of legal, ethical, moral and tactical considerations in the classroom, plus another couple of days of hands-on, live-fire defensive handgun shooting combined into a four day / 40-hour class.

That will take us into March, where our first MAG-20 classroom program will be in Tucson, Arizona for Dan Southard, the highly decorated Army combat veteran who runs Gator Farm Tactical. We’ll then do the same class in San Antonio, Texas hosted by retired Army Colonel Eric Lamberson; Eric is a splendid shot and instructor, and will teach two days of shooting (MAG-20 Range) followed by me teaching two days in the classroom (Armed Citizens Rules of Engagement), which combine to a MAG-40 if both are taken.

Then it’s on to Little Rock, Arkansas where I’ll both teach and learn at the Rangemaster Tactical Conference hosted by master instructor Tom Givens ( and will do the same in St. Louis, MO at the annual conference of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (, where I also have the privilege of serving on the advisory board.  At each I’ll get to suck up knowledge from the best and the brightest in their fields.

My first quarter training tour will finish back in Texas with Karl Rehn, this time for a MAG-80 advanced course. Non-negotiable prerequisites are MAG-40 or LFI-I, because the curriculum includes tricky stuff like shooting while moving, weak-hand draws/reloads/malfunction clearing in case your dominant arm is taken out of action, shooting from downed defender positions, and a lot of really fast shooting with handgun distances going out to fifty yards, and some long gun work. Hand-to-hand combatives are also on the menu, focusing on disarming the attacker and keeping him from disarming you.  There’s a lot less classroom than in the earlier programs, but what there is, is advanced enough to qualify for a couple of hours of CLE credit if you’re an attorney.

Like Calvin and Hobbes said, “The days are just packed.”

I wouldn’t have it any other way. Being able to work with the people I work with is one of the great joys of my life.


  1. Mas, just for the heck of it… with the recent trend toward AR pistols and SBR’s in the PDW role in the ordinary-citizen sector as well as Mil/PMC/LE Tactical Units/Executive Protection, have you ever considered where they might slot into your Course Catalog, or is that a sector you prefer to leave to rifle/carbine specialists?

  2. Having taken multiple MAG classes and having my son along learning from the best has been as important as his college education. What a privilege! We often shoot at our rural property and I see Mas’s range safety and stressfire techniques have taken hold. That’s what working with the best is to me! We are working on scheduling another MAG class this year. MAG 80 again or MAG 20 for a refresher. Either way we will train with the “best” again and that is you Mas and your hand picked staff and of course Gail!

  3. You live a charmed life Mas. I took the MAG20 when you were in Scottsboro, AL a couple years ago, hosted by Tiger McKee of Shootrite Firearms Academy. And I agree – Tiger is legendary!

  4. I recognize all these names. And of course you are among top notch people, but they are also luck to be working with you.

  5. Ah Ha! AUTOCORRECT bit whilst you typed. 🙂 Mas, The first MAG-20 was taught in the gateway to CHARLESTON SC which is Summerville. Your course is of much value to and appreciated and anticipated by the legally armed citizens. Tom Clark and I have received several additional outstanding reviews of the course and forwarded them on to Steve Shaw. Also per your expert guidance student notes are already being exchanged. Steve, Tom and I hope to see you back for more. All the best to you and Gail as you provide folks these needed courses.

  6. The only advantage I see to AR pistols is as a car/truck gun, since they can be carried like any other pistol in the passenger compartment, loaded and concealed. Rifles can not be carried the same way, generally, especially when loaded and concealed under a blanket or even in a case. At least I’ve been told that’s the situation here in NC.

  7. Wow! Making money by teaching firearms. That sure beats working for a living! You are blessed, and we are all blessed to live in a country that allows us to own firearms.

    I believe there are 198 countries in the world. I wonder how many of them allow their citizens to own guns. And by “guns” I mean rifles, shotguns AND HANDGUNS which actually fire. Some countries, like Nepal, allow their citizens to own wall hangers.

    In April 2011 I was in Knob Creek, Kentucky, and got to legally shoot three machine guns! That’s freedom!

  8. Well gosh! In reading the title of this blog, my immediate thought went to “The Joy of LEARNING from the BEST!” In reviewing the blog, I realized you sure are doing a lot of moving/activity for an old guy (sarc). What a position in life, you work with the best, learn from the best, then teach others WITH that information, which results in “THE BEST”.

    As many before me have said, I am grateful for having the opportunity to learn and work with you and your team.

    Stay safe.

  9. You know, with this new “Gun Free School Zone” shooting today, coming at a time when the “Liberal Democratic” So-called Sensible Gun Control Agenda seems to be foundering, my suspicious mind has to consider whether the “Gun Controller’s” movement isn’t finding unstable Nut Jobs to enrage, then point them at any “Gun Free Killing Zone”, hoping they’ll make a big enough “Blood Bath” of it, further their “Disarm, and Control, America” Agenda?

    What do you think, Mas?


    • I don’t think so, Paul. There are enough nutjobs in a country of 320 million to act out all by themselves. That’s why good people need guns to protect themselves, and why schools need responsibly armed adults in place right there to protect them.

      • Then why do they always commit a “Shooting”, at the point in time when it seems to benefit the “Take away OUR 2nd Amendment right’s the most?


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