Billy Barton joined USPSA and started shooting competitively to get more proficient with his carry gun. Now, Billy is a GM-level Carry Optics Competitive Shooter and a firearms trainer/instructor.
In this episode of the Reticle Up Pod, Billy and I sit down to talk about his Carry Optics setup, how he improved his own shooting skills, and what classes he teaches. Billy is also the host of the Speed Up & Get Your Hits podcast, one of the best podcasts on becoming a better shooter and competitor. Learn more at spectrain.us and listen to his podcast at youtube.com/c/SPECtrain
0:00:00.5 Kenzie: Welcome to the Reticle Up Podcast where I, 3 Gun Kenzie, will be interviewing competitive shooters, hunters, fishermen, archers, entrepreneurs, and outdoorsmen. Come learn with me as I interview people from all walks of life, in different disciplines, all across the world, from novices to professionals, of all ages. No matter what, everyone has something they can teach you so come join me on the journey.
0:00:28.6 Kenzie: Hey, everyone, welcome back to Reticle Up Podcast Podcast. You may know my host here since we have so few podcasts in this industry [chuckle] But I’ve got Billy Barton on today. So he also has a podcast called Speed Up & Get Your Hits. And he’s a GM in Carry Optics, which we’re gonna talk a little bit about today and a little bit about what he’s planning on doing after Carry Optics nationals. So Billy, how are you?
0:00:50.6 Billy Barton: I am awesome. I hope you’re as well. Thanks for having me.
0:00:53.5 Kenzie: Yeah, I like that little dark side laugh ’cause I know where you’re going.
0:01:00.0 BB: Yes.
0:01:00.5 Kenzie: You’re just gonna meet some people, they would be excited. And there’s gonna be… Others will make fun of you. It’ll be great.
0:01:04.1 BB: Of course. Yeah. That’s part of it. For sure.
0:01:07.4 Kenzie: Yeah. We gotta leave that for later. So for you, why did you start shooting USPSA in the first place? And did you just go straight for Carry Optics?
0:01:19.5 BB: Yes, yeah. So it’s been pretty cool to see. I’ve only been in the sport for, I guess, maybe less than three years now. But it’s been interesting. I think Carry Optics really has changed the sport a lot. And one of the reasons being brought in folks like me, if Carry Optics had never existed, I would have never shot USPSA, straight up.
0:01:40.0 Kenzie: Really?
0:01:41.9 BB: And the reason for that’s pretty simple. So my match gun is the gun that I have in my pants right now. That’s what I carry. And so that’s what I came into USPSA with, it was just my carry gun. And honestly, I wouldn’t spend as much time working on USPSA if it didn’t apply to everything else that I do with, yes, the classes that I teach and so forth, but also just what I carry every day. And so that’s really my motivation for being good with guns, to begin with. Is the other side of the house if you will. So, yep, straight into Carry Optics, and never really looked back.
0:02:18.8 Kenzie: Okay, now, how did you find USPSA? In general, though? Were you googling competitions, someone recommended it?
0:02:25.7 BB: Hard to say exactly how I found out about the sport, obviously, I’ve known about competition shooting for a long time, shot a little bit at IDPA way back in the day. But I guess what got me back into it. Essentially, I ran out of folks that were better than me to shoot with, and to me, when you’re looking to get better, that’s pretty important. Not only to watch folks and learn from those kinds of folks but also just to keep in mind what’s possible, if you’re… [chuckle] When you’re the guy that trains more and practices more than most of your friends it gets… You can get to a point really easily where you start thinking You’re about as good as you can possibly get. [laughter] As soon as you think that.
0:03:07.7 Kenzie: A local-only shooters?
0:03:09.8 BB: As soon as you… Yeah, well, that too. But as soon as you think that you are correct, and it becomes really difficult to actually grow in a way that you might. And so that was really what got me into the sport, but I’ve loved it ever since I’m a very competitive person. And essentially, the pursuit of excellence is what brought me to it. And so that’s, yeah.
0:03:27.7 Kenzie: Okay. Now when you got started too though USPSA and even IDPA they’ve changed their rules where now you can have that concealed carry holster. So for you, you had to get a different setup, though, Outside the waistband.
0:03:39.8 Kenzie: Kind of Yeah, I’ve always dabbled in both the concealed carry as well as outside the waistband setups so I was definitely that classic tactical Timmy guy that started with the Multicam Blue Alpha belt and the whole deal and there’s nothing wrong with it. It just looks funny to folks that aren’t used to it. It really, doesn’t hold you back. It’s the same thing just different color for the most part. But yeah, so I was not a stranger to outside the waistband at all I actually started before appendix carry was legal. So I had to go outside the waistband. So yeah, I think for me when you’re first starting off with pistol shooting, obviously, the ability to get your gun out in the same restrained grip every time and that the draw part of it is super important.
0:04:34.6 BB: But eventually, you get to the point where it’s like, “Man, what bucket the gun comes out of is like, not super important.” It’s kind of a noisy part afterwards that I care a lot more about. And so to me, it doesn’t make a big difference whether it’s outside the waistband is in the waistband that draw process itself is pretty similar. I care more about the noisy part.
0:04:49.5 Kenzie: Yeah, now but… Okay, carry the holster with that, you’ve got the speed that you’re trying to push in USPSA to be better to be good to win.
0:04:58.6 BB: True.
0:05:00.5 Kenzie: So those people are doing scoop draws and they’re trying to do everything to have an advantage, whereas in concealed carry retention is more important and all of that and your draw’s, probably not a scoop draw. So like what do you do to balance all of that?
0:05:11.5 BB: So I honestly think that potentially, you can write a scenario, when you start talking about tactical scenarios you can write it however you want to make whatever you want important. I think potentially speed on your draw is even more important for a defensive scenario than in a competition. In competition, what do you think? If you think about, your average, A-class shooter versus your average GM, what is the draw time difference to a first shot between those guys? Maybe a 10th or two, and sometimes it’s actually gonna be negative. My draw is faster than Christian Sailus, JJ or Kaza’s, Like it was when I was A-class, Because they don’t really care about that stuff. [chuckle], again.
0:05:57.9 Kenzie: Sort of second draw for GMs over a second draw, I think for most others.
0:06:01.7 BB: I mean, it’s a fair comparison. But my point being right, if you’re shaving a 10th or two off your draw, the chance you are not making a meaningful impact on your placement in the competition is pretty minimal. In a defensive scenario, the bad guy always gets to go first. And so unless you have a way to overcome that, you’re probably out of luck. So for me, my draw process is actually very, very similar for outside the waistband versus inside of the waistband with the simple difference being you have to clear that cover garment. What I learned in the pursuit of a really fast concealed carry draw actually is what enabled me to figure out the way that I draw in competition to this day, which is kind of my scoop pluck hybrid thing that I do, right?
0:06:45.7 Kenzie: Yeah, I’ve seen it.
0:06:49.2 BB: But I figured that out from concealed carry, so for me the draw process is really similar.
0:06:54.1 Kenzie: Okay. Now, have you actually shot with your carrier rig set up?
0:06:57.4 BB: I have. I have shot several of my local matches from appendix, it’s a lot of fun.
0:07:06.1 Kenzie: Reloading from square mag pouches, all of that stuff under the belly or what?
0:07:10.1 BB: So that’s where the big difference comes in for a lot of folks, thankfully shooting at high cap most stages are set up to where there is a spot to reload somewhere on the stage that’s not going to massively mess you up. And you generally only have to reload once so if you’re shooting a high cap division, it’s not the end of the world to reload from concealment but I wouldn’t be… I probably wouldn’t be shooting production from concealment to be totally honest. [laughter] That sounds like nightmare.
0:07:37.4 Kenzie: And IDPA when they had the 10 rounds instead of 15, I mean, you were having half, two, three magazines sometimes. I mean, even though their round like there’s 18 I think per…
0:07:44.9 BB: That’s the funny thing about IDPA, no one is actually competing in IDPA with a practical carry rig, I literally haven’t seen it. So when I compete from concealment in USPSA, I actually compete with what I carry every single day, which is really cool. I never did that in IDPA, none of my gear was legal in IDPA and I had to go buy different concealment gear to compete in IDPA, which is backwards from…
0:08:11.1 Kenzie: Counter-intuitive of what’s to be.
0:08:12.6 BB: What it’s supposed to be, yeah 100%.
0:08:15.4 Kenzie: Defensive Personal Association, can’t do anything that you would actually do in your life, but we’re gonna have that as our tagline.
0:08:21.1 BB: Exactly. Yeah.
0:08:21.5 Kenzie: Oh, my Gosh, now…
0:08:24.9 BB: It’s Funny how things change over time.
0:08:24.9 Kenzie: For sure. Now, okay, there’s the argument, keep your gun stock, keep your gun stock, but for you and I, I think you and I have a similar carrier rig with kind of modified triggers sides, all sorts of good stuff.
0:08:39.4 BB: I compete with a 100% stock gun.
0:08:42.0 Kenzie: No way.
0:08:42.1 BB: And now it’s an OZ9 so the cool thing with that is it comes… I shoot for ZEV full disclosure. It comes out of the box pretty much the way that I want it. So it is…
0:08:51.1 Kenzie: It’s still competitive-ish. I mean, that’s not a stock gun that most people are gonna go buy.
0:08:56.5 BB: No, 100%. So Vian I totally get where you’re going with the question. Lots of reasons folks have for keeping your guns stock, I definitely think there’s a misnomer that people talk about unreliable parts as if, oh, well, that’s for competition only, like you shouldn’t put that in anything you would carry. And I’m like, it’s kind of important for our guns to work also. If our guns don’t work, that’s kind of a big disadvantage.
0:09:27.5 Kenzie: Ask me how I know.
0:09:29.1 BB: So I think obviously we should be careful with modifications that we’re doing and there’s, as an example, people see aftermarket triggers that reduce reliability in guns and be like, oh, well therefore you shouldn’t mess with your triggers. I’m like, no, you shouldn’t mess with your striker spring. Like if you need to be all right, Like you should leave that stock. Yes, lightening your striker spring can massively impact the reliability of your pistol for sure. But putting, you know, as an example for Glock shooters, a factory Glock minus connector in your gun, like, no, that is not gonna impact the functionality or reliability of your gun in any way at all.
0:10:06.9 Kenzie: [0:10:07.0] ____ guide roll. Those are good ideas.
0:10:09.8 BB: Yeah. 100%. So there’s thoughtful modifications you can make that are absolutely going to improve the performance of your gun without having any negative impacts or reliability in my mind.
0:10:24.5 Kenzie: Okay. What is your fancy setup here? I got to see like a holster, flashlight even.
0:10:32.8 BB: For competition or well the gun is…
0:10:34.9 Kenzie: I just wanna know what you carry, what you shoot, ’cause Ivy and I are interested.
0:10:38.5 BB: The gun’s the same, it’s already mentioned actually for ZEV, so this is the KC Eusebio edition OZ9 that I’m wearing. It’s essentially a five inch gun. If you’re not familiar with it, the OZ9, the upper of it is Glock compatible. So this is obviously all ZEV parts, but you could, I could take a Glock 34 slide essentially and put it on here and it would work. But it also is kind of like the P320 concept, it has a full steel chassis unit which is gonna increase rate, gives me a full steel rail in the front, changes up the whole balance of it more than doubles the slide to rail contact surface area and gives me interchangeable grip modules. So there’s a lot of cool stuff about it. I like, I dig the guns quite a bit. It’s what I carry and compete with.
0:11:25.5 Kenzie: Well, what do you have on it?
0:11:27.5 BB: Right now I have just a normal 1000 Lumen X300.
0:11:32.8 Kenzie: Nice.
0:11:35.1 BB: I am anxiously awaiting the turbos to come out or be available, they seem pretty cool.
0:11:37.8 Kenzie: Awesome. And choice…
0:11:38.4 BB: But also keeping… Go ahead.
0:11:40.1 Kenzie: Go ahead. No, I was gonna say choice of holster, what are you drawing out of?
0:11:45.5 BB: For concealment, I’m actually just running, this is a PHLster floodlight with the discrete carry concepts, clips, they’re running all my holsters. There’s a lot of good holsters out there. The cool thing about this one is well as like the tier one concealed MSP holster and a couple others that have come out now is that the retention is all based upon the light. So I can take any one of my pistols with this light on here, throw it in here.
0:12:08.4 BB: And the retention works really really well and it also just has all the features that I look for in a concealment holster with the way that it’s built, with the way the wings set up and the change ability of the ride heights or retention and all that kind of stuff works really well. I dig that holster, quite a bit. And then I am actually running a tier one concealed holster for my normal competition rig. This is the new Optio V2 it is actually the, one of the early prototypes before the real holster came out. I had a little bit of input into kind of some of the concepts behind what this holster was built and this holster was essentially modified from their V1 Optio holster specifically to allow you to draw the way that I do essentially.
0:12:51.4 BB: And so that’s… Nothing too crazy about it, it looks a lot like a lot of holsters you would see in the competition space, but it’s very different from what you would normally see in the tactical space and so it’s a great holster. I dig it. Dig a lot.
0:13:05.1 Kenzie: That’s awesome. And I like the PHLster stuff, I have their Enigma as well. That system is really incredible for hiking for women. My dumb, dumb self, by the way, I tried to get the original snap loops off and I was doing it the wrong way. It took me a good 10 minutes to realize how easy it was if you did it the correct way. So good job on retention holster. [laughter]
0:13:28.9 BB: Yeah, there’s… I’m not a big loop guy, but their loops are no joke. Yeah, they do not come undone accidentally for sure.
0:13:36.9 Kenzie: I trapped myself until I figured it out.
0:13:41.7 BB: I totally understand. Yeah.
0:13:43.6 Kenzie: Embarrassing. So what was I gonna say? Oh yeah. The dot stuff. I mean. I’m having to move to a dot, which I’m excited about to try a little bit of Carry Optics, but definitely going to open. I mean how does someone even master the dot, picking it up, choosing the right one? I mean, I’m still doing the head bobble thing, like chasing the optic rather than setting my eyes to it. I don’t know.
0:14:06.9 Kenzie: Yeah.
0:14:08.5 Kenzie: Yeah. Tell me more. How do I fix myself?
0:14:11.4 BB: The dot. The dot that’s obviously we could go on for days about the dot, but I guess a couple entry level kind of ideas for it. Especially, the issue you’re talking about is what a lot of folks struggle with first coming to the dot, which is like, where is it? How do I find it? I think the thing to understand about that is that that is not something the dot is doing to you. It’s just exposing a problem you’ve had all along and just never knew because iron sights allow you to steer the gun into the target with your eyes. And if you have a sloppy presentation and it’s a way off target, you can see exactly where it is and just fix it. The dot doesn’t really let you do that so much.
0:14:50.1 Kenzie: I’ve known I’ve had a problem by the way, when I have mics on target, I’m like ha ha.
0:14:53.1 BB: I don’t mean you specifically. I mean, just people in general.
0:14:57.9 Kenzie: Okay.
0:15:00.3 BB: So essentially the way we solve that, you know what I mean at its core is making sure that our presentation is kind of natural index on target and then it’s consistent every single time. So figuring out in the draw stroke how am I get… Make sure my hands are on the gun, the exact same way every single time. And then building that natural index. One of the drills that I like to do, and I did, I still do, like when I switch guns, like if I switch from a Glock to an M&P and the grip angles are a little bit different and to kind of train an actual index. So when dry fire, you can just kind of pick, whatever your target is, but a nice small, precise target. Close your eyes, draw the gun out and present it and then open your eyes and see, okay, is the dot right in the middle of my glass. And is it right where I was looking? And if it’s not, where is it?
0:15:41.7 BB: And don’t change anything. See, okay, first of all, is there a trend in other words, okay, I’m presenting this gun. Naturally, I’m presenting the gun low every single time. So I need to figure out I’m my, do I need a change to my grip, or I just need to feel that adjustment to where I bring the gun up to where I’m actually seeing the dot. Is there a change I need to make there toward my grip, and then my presentation is on point, if there’s not a trend and it’s just all over the place, okay. Now we just have a consistency issue. Either way we have diagnosed what the issue is. And we just need to kind of get to the point where we can just kind of bring the gun up, open our eyes and the dot is there. Once you can do that, then defining the dot thing is not gonna be an issue anymore. It’s just gonna, here’s, it’s gonna be very natural to bring the gun up. The Dot is always gonna be there. And that is once you get to that point, the dot is the cheat code for sure. You’ll never want to go back.
0:16:29.2 Kenzie: I think it’s a mix. I really like irons, but then, I know a lot of people. Okay. You’re saying like, that’s fixing your kind of sight presentation and I think that would improve with irons then do you think it is easier to go back to iron sights, afterwards?
0:16:43.1 BB: 100%. I think it helps you with a number of things. So obviously for a lot of folks, when they switch to the dot, they have to improve their draw stroke, their grip and their presentation, and the dot really helps them do that. And so that can only make you better with irons if, instead of having to steer the gun in and fix your presentation, when you draw do the irons are just there every time as well, and you’re ready to press the trigger as soon as your sights pop up into your vision, that can only obviously help you with that. The other thing it does, the folks at the top of the iron sight game are more and more moving to all target focus at all distances.
0:17:18.2 Kenzie: Yeah.
0:17:18.9 BB: And the only way you can do that is if your index is really squared away to begin with. If you can’t trust that your sights are going to be aligned well, then yes, you have to pull your vision back and look at your sights and see are they aligned? Okay, where’s the target, where’s my sights, where is my target. That whole kind of thing. And so learning that natural index and learning how to lock everything and get super consistent with your sight alignment, from the dot absolutely applies over your iron sight game. And It helps you shoot better with target focused. I think…
0:17:49.0 Kenzie: Interesting.
0:17:49.9 BB: As well. And I think there’s a lot, you can… The dot is a super helpful training tool. I think for shooting in general, things like, am I moving the gun when I press the trigger, right?
0:18:02.0 Kenzie: That’s huge. Dry fire, yeah. So like…
0:18:03.2 BB: Yes. Yes. You…
0:18:03.5 BB: I was teaching my friend this past weekend. Every time she pulled the trigger, felt the wall or whatever. And as soon as you break, Hey, where did the dot go? That’s what you’re doing wrong. Oh, I saw the dot go down. Yeah.
0:18:14.0 BB: And in theory that your iron sights are telling you the exact same thing…
0:18:18.1 Kenzie: The Same thing.
0:18:18.3 BB: That your dot is, but it’s harder to see. And a lot of folks find it more difficult to read what their iron sights are telling them nearly as well as you can with your dot. Whereas like you said, you can hand a dot to a brand new shooter and they can immediately see that dot go over low left, and they pull the trigger. And so it can be a great training tool for various things like that, I think and help you learn things about shooting that actually apply over to iron sights as well.
0:18:44.0 Kenzie: Yeah. Oh man. So my least favorite target, I think on the whole entire grid is, Mini Poppers. Yeah. Mini Poppers are not my friend it doesn’t matter, if it’s [0:18:56.7] ____ Dot, PCC. I don’t know why I don’t wanna respect that little guy either. Especially transitioning over, like to paper, to steel, I’m like, oh, I could just hit that anywhere. Is there a spot? I mean, are you focusing just on the calibrations zone when you see that and you are really trying to feel that trigger when you…
0:19:10.3 BB: 100%. So, I mean, the deal with, USPSA, if you see your dot lift from exactly on the edge of the A zone and that dot sitting on the, A zone, C zone perf, and you pull that trigger and you’re like, man, I don’t know if that was an Alpha or Charlie. You’re totally happy with that. Like that is not something you would go back and make up or fix. And so the idea is, although you want to hit the, A zone, if you missed the A zone by a little, but you get a Charlie, it doesn’t make me too sad on the inside. I’m still okay with that. With the steel, if you miss the edge of the steel by just a little bit, and it was still a good shot, you missed by just a little bit, like you get absolutely nothing, complete fail. And so we can’t shoot for a piece of steel the same way that we do, we shoot for an A zone, the dot can’t be anywhere on there. And so that’s just the visual discipline thing. I think of making sure we Aren’t shooting for the steel we’re shooting for a spot in the center of the steel. And we’re making sure that the dot actually stops in the center before we allow the gun to kind of go off, but that’s… It’s definitely a difficult mental challenge for a lot of folks on the steel, for sure.
0:20:18.9 Kenzie: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Even going to war with a rifle is embarrassing.
0:20:22.7 BB: Yeah.
0:20:24.1 Kenzie: But that’s why we have 57 rounds in our tubes now.
0:20:27.8 BB: Yeah, fair enough. Accuracy leveling. I dig it. I dig it.
0:20:32.7 Kenzie: Yep. Yep. So, I am reworking a pistol obviously, ’cause I’ve got… Working with [0:20:37.3] ____ so why don’t you shoot open all that good stuff. So my targets, like you said, with just working the simple stuff, I’ve got scaled down versions from like Ben Stoeger’s Pro shop, then I’ve got the Go Fast, Don’t Suck Swingers and the Tuxes and all that. Can you talk about like your Dry Fire and like what you’re really drilling or are working on when you have those target sizes and those different like no shoots, tuxedos, all that stuff that you see in a competition?
0:21:00.1 BB: Yeah. All the things. So I don’t… I’m not one of these guys that I was like, “Hey, here’s my 10 Dry Fire drills that I do every single session.” My Dry Fire varies immensely, there’s times when I’m inside with A target and I’m working on A target for a long time and there’s times when I’m running around my backyard with an airsoft gun. Like it varies quite a bit. And so, I think having a plan, having an idea of what you need to work on and just figuring out ways to do that in Dry Fire are super important. I think that you brought up the little targets. I think that there’s different benefits to a lot of different target sizes. Definitely no small little targets and, and practicing visual discipline for difficult targets, super, super important, especially if that’s something that you need to work on.
0:21:46.2 Kenzie: Little Mini Poppers that are mini Mini Poppers on my wall.
0:21:49.3 BB: Yeah. Yeah. So I also think having big, full size targets up close in your Dry Fire is super important as well ’cause that’s an entirely different visual challenge on the… You’ve probably heard it said before, like “How do you make a GM miss a target? It’s you put an open target at three yards.” And so that is the, and an equally challenging visual process is like, “Hey, yes, I actually have the speed to shoot this target really fast.” But the, really the challenge there is snapping your eyes to the center of this massive field of brown and actually picking a spot in the center of the target and seeing it with your eyes, not having that kind of eyes bouncing on the target, but it’s being able to snap right in the center and see where your gun goes.
0:22:32.0 Kenzie: Yeah.
0:22:32.3 BB: So that’s equally important to work in Dry Fire. I think. So I work with a wide variety of different sizes and distances and all that kind of stuff. I think if you can figure out a way to do different distances in Dry Fire as well, not just different sizes, that’s important as well, because being able to actually snap the focus of your eyes to different distances back and forth is just as important as treating the different sizes and difficulties appropriately. So, yeah.
0:23:01.3 Kenzie: Right. Yeah. I’ve been working on a just draw right now basically, but like not wide open just because that’s where I have to start.
0:23:08.1 BB: Yeah. No, a 100%, a 100%. It makes complete sense.
0:23:12.2 Kenzie: Yeah. Then I’m getting better at Swingers. So like, like you said, I’m not a GM nowhere near. But like, South Carolina was one of ’em, clean on every single Swinger and then the wide open paper right there. Yeah. Two yards, not even when I loaded the PC miss.
0:23:31.7 BB: Yeah.
0:23:31.7 Kenzie: So that was really painful, but for Swingers, like I have been picking that spot on the back of the berm. If it’s there or tracking or, what is it called? Ambushing or whatever, like what are the different techniques in working on Swingers and like, how do you practice those?
0:23:47.7 BB: Yeah. So it’s obviously difficult for a lot of folks. There’s a… You kinda mentioned the two techniques right there, depending on how they’re presenting, whether there’s a pause you can take advantage of, or whether you have to track ’em and so forth, how you’re gonna approach ’em is gonna be a little bit different. But a lot of folks, unfortunately Swingers are not cheap, and so a lot of folks don’t have one that they can use in their personal practice. You already mentioned Go Fast, Don’t Suck Swingers. Those are pretty cool. There’s another tool called Dry Fire Ninja, which is pretty cool. It’s an online application that you can just get through in your browser. There’s a free version of it, where essentially what you do is like Dry Fire on your TV. And so you can actually basically build stages, move targets and barrels around your screen, put ’em at different distances and you can use Swingers. And you can put barrels in front of Swingers in different orientations and all that kind of stuff.
0:24:40.3 Kenzie: Is this a paid one?
0:24:41.6 BB: There’s a paid version of it. You can get access, like pre-built classifier stages. And there’s a lot of cool stuff in there, but there’s a free version. You can just access to Swingers and stuff for free. And so yeah, you can Dry Fire, moving targets, like on your TV and stuff or your computer monitor or whatever you have, obviously, bigger screens are easier. But yeah, that’s pretty cool.
0:25:03.6 Kenzie: I was thinking about that, just make sure that your gun is unloaded and store your magazines before you start dry firing at your TV or your laptop.
0:25:11.5 BB: Yeah.
0:25:11.6 Kenzie: Just like you would do anywhere else. But especially at those devices.
0:25:14.8 BB: For sure. But you can start, if you’re just starting the journey on the Swinger, you can even just start with the idea of, this is something I picked up from JJ, He has a drill in one of his classes where he’ll take a standard USPSA target, but he’ll draw a four inch circle or whatever, kind of low right, low left and up at the top, and you imagine a Swinger kind of arcing through those three circles. And like, you’re like, man, okay. Inside that circle is where I want to hit it. But what you’re really working at is like never stopping, moving the gun. Like you would be tracking the Swinger. But hey, I want to land that shot inside that four inch circle every time.
0:25:51.2 BB: So that kind of basic mechanics of it is a great place to start. But yeah, eventually figuring out some way you can actually have a moving target and like track it and learning, because really learning how to call your shots, I think is the most important part of shooting Swingers. Like having an idea of, did I hit that or did I not? It’s pretty important, right?
0:26:11.3 Kenzie: Yeah.
0:26:11.4 BB: And that just takes practice on it. So.
0:26:13.2 Kenzie: Yeah. And these days, I remember back in the day I would just like activate it and like worry about it later.
0:26:17.8 BB: Yeah.
0:26:18.1 Kenzie: Now I physically cannot do that. Which is like, no, like I have to, if it’s there, It’s like, “Alright, I’m gonna activate it and I’m gonna hit it in this turn. Or maybe it’s two shots, one at a time.” But yeah. So like I’m, I’m not one of those people that just… It’ll just be there. ‘Cause it’s never not, it’s never, you’re just stuck there, like waiting, waiting, waiting.
0:26:33.1 BB: Exactly.
0:26:33.9 Kenzie: Yeah. That’s a big difference between…
0:26:35.8 BB: It can be a huge time suck for sure. If you mismanage them. Yeah. A 100%.
0:26:40.9 Kenzie: Yeah, interesting. Okay. So for you going in, I know 2022 is almost over, but…
0:26:47.0 BB: Yep.
0:26:47.0 Kenzie: You’re going into Nationals.
0:26:48.1 BB: Yep.
0:26:49.5 Kenzie: What’s gonna be your goal at Nationals in your division overall. I mean you are GM, so where are you gonna land?
0:26:56.2 BB: Yeah. Goal setting in our sport, I think is enormously challenging because so much of it is not up to you. It’s up to everyone else.
0:27:08.3 BB: And so essentially, I have an idea of how I want to shoot, and, the scores will tell me that. So in other words, if I, really simple don’t shoot like a GM and I’m down in the middle pack of the masterclass dudes, like I’m obviously not gonna be happy with that, right?
0:27:28.0 BB: Yeah.
0:27:28.5 Kenzie: It is, not my intention to win Nationals. I am, I do not have enough ammo and practice time to, be as good as the top guys right now. But I definitely have an idea of how I want to shoot. I don’t think it’s really possible to say, I wanna be in this place or not. I like to be super realistic with my goals. And that’s not up to me a lot of times it’s up to the other guys and how they shoot as well. So I haven’t even done a solid look at who all is signed up. I know there’s a lot of heat in Carry Optics right now. So there’s probably, I would say, a good five, maybe four or five guys that have a solid shot at winning it. And then there’s, probably a good 10 or 15 GMs that are all gonna essentially be fighting for the field right under those guys. So it’s gonna be an interesting event for sure. I’m excited about it, it should be fun.
0:28:17.7 Kenzie: That’s awesome. Okay. Now we talked about this kinda offline, what’s happening after Nationals for you? What are you gonna try?
0:28:27.8 BB: Yeah. So, we talked about it a little bit before this, So just, sign up with Angstadt Arms, they have built me a rifle. So I’m gonna be shooting some PCC going after that, trying to make GM in that, this year. But, yeah, it should be fun. I’ve been shooting Carbine for a long time. You can probably see a couple of them up on the wall behind me that are nothing like USPSA PCCs. I really really wish there was, a good practical rifle competition scene. But there really just isn’t, outside of 3-Gun and so PCC is where it’s at. Like if you want to actually demonstrate super high competency, with impractical rifle, that’s pretty much where, you’re going right now. So I’m excited about it, it should be an interesting journey for sure. So that’s what I’ll be getting after Nats this year.
0:29:19.6 Kenzie: Okay. Have you looked into, PCSL League, Max League? There’s two grand series.
0:29:24.4 BB: I have. Absolutely. Yeah. I think Max is doing a lot of really cool stuff right now. He’s thinking outside the box, doing stuff on his own. That’s pretty cool. That’s pretty cool. I would definitely be interested at some point.
0:29:34.7 Kenzie: Yeah, you’d have to travel, but I think that would be worth it. Like, ’cause I’ve seen your 2-Gun. I know and we’ll talk about your like classes and stuff. Like you said, there is super high value in rifle training, especially for like tactical people or people on squads or military, whatever it looks like, but just in general, like truck gun, like you said, the special ones in that [laughter] background there.
0:29:53.6 BB: Yeah.
0:29:55.5 Kenzie: What are your goals looking at PCC? Like what do you know that is going to be different from pistol versus what do you know that you’re or are gonna like correlate to each other.
0:30:04.3 BB: Super interesting game. So, and I’m not one of these guys that’s like, Hey, we should, we need to make sure PCC is like always, testing actually a good test of Carbine skills. That’s not really realistic in USPSA. In USPSA, we are shooting a pistol gun with a rifle. And so that is, it is what it is. In pistol, I kind of have three different ways that I essentially pull the trigger, depending on target difficulty and distance. In USPSA, for a rifle, I have one way I pull the trigger. All of the targets are essentially the same difficulty [laughter] or really, really close, with a rifle. And I can shoot and I just posted video about this. I can shoot 10 splits, 25 yards and get out fast.
0:30:44.9 BB: So it’s a very different game in that it’s simpler in the idea that, you don’t have as much modulation really of difficulty in how you approach the targets, but it’s also a little bit less forgiving in that way, because, although I can do that standing still static at 25 yards, like if we’re doing it on the move, we’re doing it coming into position, we have awkward lean and so and so forth. There’s definitely unique challenges to trying to push the speed that much across all the targets. But yeah, it’s a little bit of a different game, splits matter way more in PCC. Like it’s just the field’s closer because of the, the reduced challenge as far as target difficulty. So everything everything’s gotta be fast. And you gotta get all the points too. So it’s a fun game for sure. I’m looking forward to diving into it.
0:31:34.8 Kenzie: Okay. Would you put like, 2-Gun Nationals with USPSA on your schedule next year then? Maybe?
0:31:40.8 BB: Maybe we’ll see.
0:31:42.0 Kenzie: Okay.
0:31:44.5 BB: Yeah, I’ll see.
0:31:45.3 Kenzie: I mean, I do like the multi gun aspect, I think with, USPSA I would love to see an actual rifle, and 2-Gun, not just PCC. Like, I miss my rifles. I would like to use the rifles, but yeah. And then you’re gonna have those fun clay targets. You’re gonna have to really learn your like holdovers-ish. [laughter] have you seen those holdovers from last year? Or this year?
0:32:05.0 BB: Oh, yeah.
0:32:05.4 Kenzie: Oh, God.
0:32:06.6 BB: Oh, yeah.
0:32:08.8 BB: Those are unforgiving.
0:32:10.4 BB: Yes, they are. Yes. They are. Yeah. So I shot, I couldn’t help myself. I have intended to really stick with Carry Optics through Nationals, but I got the new gun. I had to go shoot [laughter] I had to go shoot at least one match. I shot really well. The only, really thing that hit me, I had, I think I had a couple mics and, but they were all from [0:32:30.9] ____ stuff, you’re just, you get so used to Just snapping your eyes to exactly where it is that you want to hit the target in USPSA and when I’m doing my noble, Carbine stuff and classes and so forth, it’s a different mindset, but, on the, USPSA field, like I switch back into the Carry Optics mode and I just have a very particular way that I do things. And so it’s an interesting switch going back and forth and having to keep that in mind. But other than that should be, it should be pretty squary.
0:33:00.1 Kenzie: Yeah. So are you a pro offset or no offset one, one optic only. Or are you new?
0:33:04.6 BB: Yeah, so I actually have offsets on pretty much all of my guns, except for the PCC. Although I just have a Handy Mount sitting right here. That’s waiting a new optic. I was just talking to my guys over at Holosun today, so I should be getting the new 509 here before too long to slap on the PCC. So I’ll definitely have one. Yeah. For the, those hard left leans. It’s definitely a thing for sure.
0:33:29.5 Kenzie: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Or, like me, when I lose an optic, every other match. [laughter]
0:33:39.1 BB: There is that, there is that.
0:33:40.9 Kenzie: I can’t make this up. [laughter] I can’t, I’m glad you brought a Holosun though. I don’t represent them, but I’m a Holosun fanatic, so 510C, 407K, 507C, I have… I have a bit on carry gun, on PCs, every gun, I love them.
0:33:57.1 BB: Yeah.
0:33:58.4 Kenzie: So like, what’s the benefit on using Holosun in your… In your mind? Like what do you like about those optics? ‘Cause I really, I love them, I’m obsessed.
0:34:05.8 BB: Holosun’s done a lot of really cool stuff. I don’t… I don’t represent them either. They give me industry pricing on stuff, but that’s about the extent of my relationship with them, but they’ve done a lot of really cool things and even if you’re not a huge fan of their optics, you have to be a huge fan of what they’ve done for the industry because they brought in that competition and there’s a lot of companies that, have done that. It’s kinda like, before, if you look at the the pricing of Trijicon, LPVOs before and after Vortex came with The Razor, like, you’ll see a huge dive off, It’s like, of course competition is going to have a positive impact for the consumer.
0:34:40.2 BB: And so Holosun has done a great job of bringing out quality optics at significantly more affordable prices than we were seeing before from anything decent. And so that’s pretty cool, but they have some, they have some really good products. I, really, the only optic from them that I use regularly is the 509T for my… For my offsets on rifles. I run the SRO on all my pistols, but, I like something a little bit extra rugged on the rifles when you’re tossing barrels and doing all kind of crazy stuff. So, the 509T is just an absolute tank. And so I enjoy that quite a bit on my rifles.
0:35:16.7 Kenzie: That’s awesome. Very cool.
0:35:17.9 BB: Yeah.
0:35:18.9 Kenzie: Awesome. So, okay. Switching gears. So you’ve got a SpecTrain company.
0:35:22.6 BB: Yep.
0:35:23.8 Kenzie: When did you even start that and why?
0:35:26.1 BB: So I didn’t even start it. [laughter]
0:35:27.1 Kenzie: What?
0:35:27.8 BB: Yeah. Funny story. So [laughter], I started teaching years and years ago in kind of a casual and maybe somewhat like, kinda like you’re doing now, friends, people that I knew, that entry level, concealed carry classes, that kind of stuff. And this was back when I lived up in Virginia, when I moved down to North Carolina, I said, all right, I gotta figure out the landscape down here. What’s up. So I basically signed up to take everybody’s classes that I knew about that was in my area. And I was like, I’m just gonna kinda like scope everybody out. See what’s up… And.
0:35:56.6 Kenzie: Who did you take classes from? Now I gotta know.
0:36:00.8 BB: A handful of folks. Yeah. A handful of folks. [laughter]
0:36:04.6 Kenzie: Okay. All There we go.
0:36:06.8 BB: Nobody that I particularly recommend at this point. But yeah, so I came across SpecTrain and it was this super unusual company, super unique. They were running classes like I still, to this day, I’ve never seen anywhere else in the country. And I showed up and I think we had about 14 folks as far as the group of students. And we had five instructors there.
0:36:29.2 BB: And so essentially the entire class, this is still mostly the way that we run our classes, was one on one with an instructor. So with, we had two and a half relays, if you will, which is very, which is very typical. I think even for large line classes, if you’ve got 20 students, you’ll run two relays at 10 or whatever, but when you run two relays and you have five instructors, that means that there’s an instructor, literally watching you for every single shot that you fire throughout the day. And I was like, this is pretty freaking cool. And so I jumped in with those guys, reached out to Chris, who’s a good buddy of mine now who actually started the company, he was running it back then. And I ended up essentially helping him run the company very, very quickly thereafter, developed some new classes, started teaching more performance and competition style stuff for them, and basically helped run the company for a couple of years. And then he accepted a job with Vortex Edge up in Wisconsin. So he’s up there teaching full-time for them now. And now I run SpecTrain. So, kind of carrying the torch there with that company and keeping the show running, while he’s up in Wisconsin. So yeah, that’s kind of… That’s kind of the SpecTrain story.
0:37:34.0 Kenzie: That’s awesome.
0:37:35.8 BB: Yeah.
0:37:36.2 Kenzie: For USPSA then like when you were getting started in Carry Optics, where did you start with classification level? ‘Cause obviously like you started doing the performance pistol and all that with like your GM status and everything else.
0:37:45.1 BB: Yeah.
0:37:45.1 Kenzie: Where did you start?
0:37:47.1 BB: I would have to go back and do the math. So I’m not actually sure where I first landed. I know I had some train wrecks, obviously like everyone else does, pretty early, but I definitely came into the sport with a pretty solid pre-established skill set. So it wasn’t like, starting from the ground up. So I shot two matches, I think in like 2018, figured out that the gun I had at the time wasn’t even legal for the sport. And so I took a little bit of time off, came back with [0:38:18.1] ____ was ZEV, with the OZ9 and all the right gear and so forth in July of 2019. And I made master in actually just under six months, so from there. So it was a pretty quick journey through there that actually happened in January of 2020. So right after that was when all the matches got locked down and it was kind of COVID hit, that kind of tapped the breaks on the record time I was trying to make to GM. But…
0:38:47.7 Kenzie: I get it, I get it. ‘Cause my career I’ve been building for so long, I was trying to do what I’m doing now in 2020. And it did delay two years for sure on exposure and events and everything that I was building. I get it.
0:39:00.6 BB: Yeah.
0:39:01.1 Kenzie: It…
0:39:01.4 BB: Yeah.
0:39:01.8 Kenzie: Ugh. It crushed. It crushed mentally, I think, too.
0:39:05.8 BB: Yeah.
0:39:06.7 Kenzie: Interesting. Okay. So you’ve got the training class, and I’m glad that you’re also a student. I’m taking a class this weekend. And actually, I get to train with Mason Lane and I really wanna take one of yours by the way. I keep seeing them. And of course, every day that you have, I am not in the country or in the state or anywhere near you.
0:39:22.6 BB: Yeah, fair enough. Fair enough.
0:39:23.3 Kenzie: But, I wanna talk about like the value of training, right?
0:39:26.7 BB: Sure.
0:39:27.1 Kenzie: So you would… You would, we don’t wanna restrict our American rights. And like, “Oh, okay. Probably should just go through training.”
0:39:32.6 BB: Yeah.
0:39:34.2 Kenzie: But you would hope every American is far enough to know, “Hey, I should probably take a class.”
0:39:38.3 BB: 100%.
0:39:39.8 Kenzie: So how are you… I do wanna know this actually. How are you educating people just in general, why they should take a class? And how are you bringing those students in to do that? Or are you? It’s a struggle. No.
0:39:49.6 BB: Sure. Yeah, no. Yeah. It’s the job of any instructor. Selfishly but also, like you said in general I’m completely on board with what you’re saying. I’m not a big fan of any mandatory requirements that are restrictions on our rights, but it should definitely be a self-enforced requirement. I think that you have a certain level of competency at the very least before you’re roaming the streets with deadly weapons and so forth. And like anything else technically instead of going through high school, could you have gone on the internet and taught yourself algebra? Like yeah. Theoretically, yes. But obviously when you get some professional instruction, it’s going to shorten that learning curve significantly. You’re not gonna have to wade through all the different varying opinions that may have more or less value depending on who you run into first.
0:40:45.6 BB: And you just have the huge value of having a third party opinion. So I like to think as someone who’s been an instructor for maybe six years now, Grand Master in the sport that I have a pretty solid understanding of like how to shoot. But I am still taking my either match videos. Like I’m a member for example, of PSTG, which is Ben Stoeger’s training system. So I’m still taking my either match videos or my training videos and I’m submitting it to Ben and [0:41:18.6] ____ every week to look at. And it’s like, they will see the stuff that I see in my students. But way easier sometimes than I see it in my own shooting.
0:41:27.5 Kenzie: Yeah.
0:41:28.4 BB: And so I think that’s really the huge value of a good instructor as well. Obviously, it can shorten your learning curve, help you learn the stuff you really need to know upfront but also just that diagnostic side of things, actually looking at what you’re doing specifically, how is your gun moving? What are your results down range and a good instructor will be able to identify those things and just kind of skip over all the stuff you’re maybe doing right already that you don’t need to waste time on, or all the stuff you don’t need to know to meet your goals and just give you exactly kind of the things you need to get where you’re trying to be. So, yeah, I think classes are hugely beneficial, for sure. And then have a ton of value. I’m definitely still a student myself. I’m taking a class in two weeks and then another one in two months. So yeah, I’m still training and stuff like that all the time. And yeah, I think it’s super beneficial for sure.
0:42:20.5 Kenzie: Yeah. Yeah. And something you touched on is like you have first point of view, I think videos with your own camera system and then you have other people video, so you have third person as well. Why, I mean, I know the answer to this, but why are those two views very important and what are they picking up differently that the other is not?
0:42:37.8 BB: Huge value in both, especially on the third person stuff. You have someone shooting your video that knows what they’re doing. And it drives me so crazy when I see shooting videos and it’s like, they’re zoomed in on the gun thing.
0:42:52.0 Kenzie: Yes.
0:42:52.5 BB: And like you spin the camera as the gun comes out of the holster thing. And it’s like, “Okay, I’m not seeing anything of any value… “
0:42:57.0 Kenzie: Movement out here. Yeah.
0:43:00.0 BB: Yeah. Right, so.
0:43:00.0 Kenzie: We love.
0:43:01.1 BB: There’s certain things you have to have as far as video review goes, there’s certain things you have to have third person for as far as things like footwork and movement and stage planning and positioning and all that kind of stuff but first person has a lot of value as well to say, “Okay, what is my head movement doing? What is my vision doing? How is my gun moving?” You can see a lot better if your vision is getting ahead of the gun to the next target before the gun gets there, in first person video you can see how much time is happening between when the gun is landing on a target, and when the shot breaks, different things like that. You can see really, really well in first person that is a lot harder to see in third person and stuff like, was the target available significantly before I shot it? You can’t see in third person when I saw the target, but you can see that in first person. So huge value in both, for sure, depending on what you’re really focusing on kind of what level you’re at and what you’re trying to analyze.
0:44:02.7 Kenzie: So what [0:44:02.8] ____ in the sport need to take a video? How to video a shooter lesson ’cause I’m like 90% of them.
0:44:09.9 BB: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You know, absolutely. Get your phone with a super wide angle lens and always put it on a wide angle before you hand it to somebody. That’s like the number one thing that will hopefully help get the feet in the shot and all that, because otherwise they have to get right up on you but Kenzie [0:44:27.9] ____ takes great video. She’s the squad photographer I learned very quickly. The first time shooting me at Georgia state.
0:44:37.4 Kenzie: Okay. I wanna talk about that. What did you first think when you met me at Georgia state? Oh my God like overwhelming, what the heck.
0:44:45.9 BB: I had no idea what to expect. That was one of those super last minute impulse signups for a major. And typically, and I know we’ve talked about this typically, my deal when I signed up for matches is I’m [0:45:00.3] ____.
0:45:00.8 Kenzie: Is shoot with better people, not us, yeah.
0:45:03.7 BB: I’m looking for the best people in the match to shoot. I’m looking for like, okay, what squad has the most GMs on it? And I’m specifically like Carry Optics GM if I have my pick of the litter, And I’m like, man, here’s this PCC squad that I’m gonna have to go shoot with. And it was the only squad that had open slots, you know, I had no idea what I was getting into with. And yeah, it was a good time. It was a party you know, had a lot of fun with your squad for sure. It was good. It was a good time.
0:45:34.6 Kenzie: I mean, we’re GM resellers, even though we didn’t have to but GM videographer, photographer.
0:45:38.0 BB: Videographer. Yep.
0:45:39.1 Kenzie: And entertainment. So…
0:45:41.3 BB: 100%, 100%. Yeah, definitely. Probably the most to have like laughed at a match before, still to this day I would say for sure. So…
0:45:52.0 Kenzie: Oh, that’s actually a compliment. You need that. Every now and then you need that.
0:45:54.9 BB: For sure. Yeah, it’s one of those things, Like shooting basically for my whole life has been like, it’s been my passion, what I do for fun. It’s my therapy. But these days it’s like, it’s way more like work, you know what I mean?
0:46:10.1 BB: So I fish now like that’s what I do to actually relax now, I cannot relax behind the gun anymore. It’s…
0:46:18.2 Kenzie: Oh no, I’ve seen you with the catfish and all that, it’s like is this a private property, public, like what are you doing?
0:46:24.4 BB: Oh no, that’s lazy. Yeah, no that’s all been just like public random bodies of water here in North Carolina and go pull some catfish out of you know, it’s a good time.
0:46:36.2 Kenzie: I love it. I really wanna know how to fly fish so that’s on my bucket list.
0:46:39.3 BB: I would like to do that as well. That is not something I’ve gotten into but it looks like a good time. I need to get my buddy Nick. I’ve told him the other day, I’m like when are you posting the fly fishing courses on the [0:46:48.7] ____ training group website because he is always pulling out some monster trout with a fly fishing rig. He needs to get on that for sure.
0:46:58.1 Kenzie: That’ll be cool. It’d be really cool. So sorry, we’ve digressed. Okay, so training… After that, what classes are you teaching? What would someone be looking for into taking your class and what would they take away from it?
0:47:12.3 BB: Sure. Yeah. So as a company, right, so SpecTrain is not just me. I have technically I think about nine guys on my cadre right now. Most of which are pretty different from me. I’m kind of like the competition performance shooting guy. A lot of current and former law enforcement and military guys on my cadre that have expertise in different things. I’ve got a Marine Scout Sniper that runs my precision shooting stuff, that is not my game, I do not do that. But he’s very good at it. And that’s what he does. And so you can come to SpecTrain courses and learn from different guys, and a lot of different stuff. But our kind of main core courses, we do the kind of traditional level one level two, pistol and carbine courses. But we skipped through a lot of the tactical range theatrics, and we focus on shooting good and being fast and accurate, if you will. And we certainly do that for those courses for folks that are interested in that. From a… A lot of times a defensive mindset, we have applications for those things, but really shooting is shooting.
0:48:17.1 BB: And I really don’t care what your resume is, if you can’t shoot, you’re not going to be teaching any one of our courses, we have good shooters so that’s kind of really the focus for us and then what’s… I’ve already mentioned what generally sets those courses apart from anywhere else in the country I’ve found so far is the kind of instructor to student ratio and the one on one time you get with instructors, which is pretty cool. I also do some more performance competition style shooting stuff. Right now I’m teaching a lot of the kind of what I call a two day level up competition pistol course, that’s kind of my like, if you are like DCBA class, this is like everything you need to know to make it to GM. At least that’s my attempt at that. So it’s definitely not an intro to competition class. It’s not a here’s what the rules are, here’s what the divisions are and that kind of stuff. It’s, we’re gonna hit the ground running, and we’re gonna talk about okay, what do you need to do to actually get good at this thing? And so that’s a lot of fun, and we have a good time. It’s probably one of my favorite courses to run right now. But yeah, we do a little bit of everything.
0:49:22.7 Kenzie: That’s awesome. Now are people learning how to use like manipulate lights, lasers or deploy slings or anything like that in these courses, or is that something that’s more in defensive realm?
0:49:35.0 BB: But not in the competition course, obviously, right?
0:49:38.2 Kenzie: Yeah.
0:49:39.3 BB: So for what we call our core and credit applications courses, obviously, yes slings are required for the rifle courses and that kind of stuff. We have done some low light classes in the past. I don’t have a great facility to really do that right now. So I’m not really doing a whole lot of low light stuff. But yeah, we do a little bit everything a little bit of law enforcement contracting and stuff if you have a facility you want us to come to and do that kind of training, we absolutely will, for sure.
0:50:04.5 Kenzie: Are you a two point one point kinda guy? [0:50:11.8] ____ questions that I have.
0:50:11.9 BB: You had to pull me in to the…
0:50:14.3 Kenzie: Debate.
0:50:15.1 BB: The controversy. So yeah, first of all, just don’t run three points, I feel like I can say that without stepping on any toes. Yeah, I think the one points were obviously super, super popular, I think early in the war on terror. It seemed really cool, give you a lot of freedom and manipulations, so on and so forth.
0:50:37.7 BB: And then more and more and more, we saw everyone moving away from that just because guys would climb over a fence and come on the other side and their gun is still on the other side of the fence. And they’re hanging from their gun now and this kind of thing, So obviously the advantage to having two point slings is it actually secures the gun to your body in a much better way. And if that’s the goal, it’s really cool. I think the downside just in some folks’ minds is well you’d lose a lot of freedom to actually run the gun which when running the gun matters it’s hard to think anything else matters more. Obviously, there’s a couple ways to work around that you can just swim out of it. I’ve moved to a really… I use two point sling but I have the two points of those sling basically as close together as they can be.
0:51:26.3 BB: I connect it to the end plate under the castle nut on the back of the receiver and basically as close to receiver on the rail as I can, gives me a lot of flexibility. I can do… I can actually transition shoulders if you are into that sort of thing without [0:51:38.4] ____ of my sling and a two point but when I tighten it down, it really gets super secure to the body if I need to put it behind my back or whatever it works pretty well. So that’s kind of what I’ve moved to these days. And of course, you can use sling for this the MAG Bore, the Haley or whatever, they can hook and unhook and basically go back and forth from a one point to a two point configuration as well which are pretty cool. If you’re still not totally sold on one option or the other.
0:52:06.5 Kenzie: Okay, I like the answer. Yeah, I’ve had to learn to how to use one of those, thank you free gun for that experience. I remember though, my friend Ron, he had to jump over a wall at Fort Benning and he kind of did the thing where he was like, “I don’t have a gun.”
0:52:21.0 Kenzie: It’s just…
0:52:21.5 BB: Yeah, it’s a thing.
0:52:24.7 Kenzie: It’s a thing.
0:52:26.8 BB: Yeah.
0:52:29.2 Kenzie: Yeah. The setup too, like for… I mean, like having a deployable rifle in a truck or car, whatever, that sling setup. It’s not all willy nill, loosey goosey too. You know what I mean? You have to learn how to deploy it. And like similar to you, I don’t know, I shoot in it, in the sling, if that makes sense. So loosen enough, that’s still there, and then you can just pull it tighten. So…
0:52:49.3 BB: Yeah, I’ll give the… I’ll give you the pro tip real quick.
0:52:51.8 Kenzie: Yeah, please do.
0:52:52.6 BB: Standby, brief intermission. So…
0:52:54.7 BB: For sling management on actual deployable rifle, hopefully you can still kinda hear me, so…
0:53:03.8 Kenzie: Yeah.
0:53:04.6 BB: My friends at the NeoMag make this deal, it’s called the Century Strap. So this is what I use. It’s basically a magnetic retention strap for your slings on your rifles. Like when my… This is kind of, it would be like my bag gun setup. This is how it’s folded up in my… Wherever I may or may not be keeping this rifle at various times.
0:53:24.7 BB: Well, you see if the sling is open. You can actually run this, and the sling’s kept out of the way. It’s not tangled. It’s not gonna get wrapped around your optic or anything like that. I got access to all my controls and so forth, but then if I actually need my sling, all I have to do is grab this strap, and get open and I’ve got it. So all this is just a magnetic, keeper strap.
0:53:44.7 Kenzie: Ooh.
0:53:44.8 BB: That wraps around your sling, keeps out of the way, and then deploys super quick, if and when you need it. So that’s my go to for sling management.
0:53:53.0 Kenzie: Very, very, very cool. Okay. Does your facility that you train out like allow you to shoot out of or around cars?
0:54:00.3 BB: Oh, yeah.
0:54:00.4 Kenzie: Yeah. That’s awesome.
0:54:01.5 BB: Yeah.
0:54:02.2 Kenzie: Yeah. Okay. I know a place in Tennessee if you ever need to do stupid stuff like that, but good stuff, but…
0:54:05.9 BB: Fair enough.
0:54:09.4 BB: Fair enough. Yeah, we’ve got a lot of cool places to do stuff here in this neck of the woods as well, but…
0:54:14.4 Kenzie: This is neck of the woods…
0:54:14.9 BB: We have fun with various things like that. Yeah.
0:54:21.3 Kenzie: I’ll disclose location.
0:54:22.6 BB: Yeah.
0:54:22.8 Kenzie: Like it. Okay. So towards the end, I did wanna talk a lot about, of course, the second amendment stuff.
0:54:23.3 BB: Okay.
0:54:29.7 Kenzie: The time of this, we’ve got Uvalde, we’ve got that… I wanna say the release in the videos, at least, I know we’ve seen like the Chicago shooting, all that stuff. So I’ve had two positive and negative… Or I’ve had two experiences this week, and I posted a positive and this happened today on the negative, but positive side was people saw my social media and thought it was awesome that it was a positive aspect, and it was training and it was good stuff about firearms.
0:54:29.8 Kenzie: Negative, someone Googled my name, saw that and was not willing to work with me or get on a call. I was like, “Okay.” So with all the turmoil going on and everything like that, like how can the sides work together? And like, why are our second amendment rights so important right now to preserve more than ever?
0:55:10.5 BB: Yeah. Super interesting conversation, Whether it’s… It’s really sad to see it. And I think whether it’s… All the discussions right now, whether it’s the second amendment, whether it’s social issues, whether it’s the abortion thing lately, like whatever it is, folks seem to really, really struggle having open conversations and realizing there’s two sides to the various arguments, and actually being able to talk about things, which is really a shame. But I think a lot of these things boil down to things that are completely separate from the argument.
0:55:44.8 BB: So when I was talking to folks that may be on the other side of the second amendment issues or whatever it is, arguing over, telling them they don’t know what an AR-15 stands for, or telling them it’s a magazine not a clip, or whatever it is, none of that has any value to the discussion whatsoever. And so what it boils down to is like, if you’re the kind of person who every time you see a problem in society wants the government to step in and solve that problem for you, you’re probably on a different side of this argument than someone who is like, “Man, I want the government to stay out of my life as much as possible. And I’d rather stand on my own two feet and take care of my own and just be left alone.”
0:56:31.1 BB: And so it’s a really a difference in worldview, much more than it is anything else. We all, Obviously, [laughter] are appalled and saddened, everything’s like these various events, like you just mentioned, happen. Obviously, we all want those things to stop. We all want to go after those things and find solutions. And I think to suggest that anyone on either side, any side of this argument, doesn’t care about those things is obviously way out of line, right?
0:57:01.2 Kenzie: Yeah.
0:57:01.8 BB: I think because of a difference in worldview, we had to simply have different approaches to how to solve those problems.
0:57:06.9 Kenzie: Yeah.
0:57:07.6 BB: And so that’s really what it kind of boils down to, for me. My basic take on it right, is obviously we… It’s very, very clear that evil exists in this world. And it really does not matter too much to me, whether it is someone with an AR-15 in Texas, or whether it’s someone with a bomb in Israel that is killing kids in schools, The tool is not entirely important to me. What’s clear to me is that if my family and folks that I care about were in danger from any sort of effect like that, the government’s not who I really trust to step in and solve that issue. They’ve… You’ve seen lots of videos going around the internet the last couple days. I think demonstrating that lack of trust has some real firm foundation there.
0:58:02.4 Kenzie: Yeah.
0:58:04.2 BB: And so I would rather be as prepared as I can possibly be to protect, not only my life, but my family and those that I care about. And yes, I’m huge fans of our military and law enforcement. Obviously, I train with those guys all the time, big supporters of them. And if I can let them step in and take care of business, I have no problems doing so, but when they’re 20 or 30 minutes out, and someone’s kicking my door in, I’m not gonna be waiting on them. So yeah.
0:58:34.9 Kenzie: Yeah, yeah. Is there like conversations or, I don’t know, approaches to meeting, I don’t wanna say anti-gunners, or just people on the other side halfway? Or there… Or have you had conversations that have actually converted people to understand where we’re coming from? Have you had that experience?
0:58:54.4 BB: Yeah, for sure. I think it’s certainly difficult. I think that for a lot of folks. The arguments are not even based in any particular moral, logical standpoint. It’s strictly kind of a cultural and experiential thing, and so just exposing folks to firearms can be a really great first step. Actually getting folks out on the range and getting them to kind of experience it and understand that like, “No, shooting someone in the leg with your pistol may not be an actual, practical tactic,” these kind of things. It really shifts folks mindset on various things like that. So just basic exposure and education, I do think is super important. But then I also think actually, like I said before, framing our arguments is super important. If we’re debating folks and telling them that they don’t have a right to an opinion because they thought AR stood for Assault Rifle, when it really stands for ArmaLite rifle, like that is not going to change anyone’s perspective on anything.
0:59:56.1 BB: We need to be talking about things like, “Hey, oh, by the way, the second amendment is not about hunting. It’s not about self defense, it’s not… ” Actually talking about the roots of these issues and kind of getting to the things that actually kind of matter I think is where we’re gonna see headway. And so I think folks like… Obviously the NRA over the years and so forth have honestly done some damage, I think, to the arguments by trying to say, “Oh, the AR-15’s a sporting rifle.” And it’s like, no, no, no, no. That is not the right way. We have to be honest, we have to be upfront and we have to get to the actual root of the issue and be like, “No, yeah, the AR-15 is, was designed as a military weapon and that is what it’s for.” And that’s exactly kind of what this country was literally founded on. The shot heard around the world was not over tea or taxes, it happened when the government tried to take away explosives and cannons from Americans. We don’t like that a whole lot. So that’s kinda what the second amendment’s actually kind of all about.
1:00:56.3 Kenzie: Yeah. Okay. This is totally out of left field, probably, [chuckle] but sort of on topic. Did you read or watch The Terminal List?
1:01:04.9 BB: Yes. Both.
1:01:05.9 Kenzie: Both? Same? I know we talked about it’s outline, but the reason I brought that up again, a cool experience this week in Pennsylvania I had someone who had voted for Biden who admitted he regretted that, and we’re not gonna say, “I told you so,” we’re not gonna go attacking that. But…
1:01:19.4 BB: Sure.
1:01:19.6 Kenzie: He even came up to me and talked about The Terminal List. And he said, “It was really surprising that Amazon still publish that TV show.” And I was shocked and I’m happy about it, Like I am floored. First of all, the book is amazing. I’ve met Jack Carr, we’ve got…
1:01:34.6 BB: Same.
1:01:35.1 Kenzie: We’ve got so much value in that whole series with weapons handling and guns and knowledge. Oh my gosh, it was amazing. So how do you see shows like that… And even celebrities, I think Chris Pratt took almost a leap of faith on being in that show, he’s probably lost a lot of fans because of it. But how important was that show to be released to you? Or was it?
1:01:57.2 BB: I don’t know. I don’t know. I think that we have… I think for folks in our community, the show I’m sure is something entirely different than to a lot of the folks out there who are not really gonna be able to identify the difference between The Terminal List and like John Wick. For a lot of people watching it, it’s gonna be the same thing. And so, and that is what it is. But it’s super, super nice whenever those shows come along or you see things like that in the media that actually take a little bit of care and respect for their subject matter and actually try to make things semi-realistic and not just kinda completely discard reality. And so, yeah, it was super, super cool. I enjoyed both the books and the show a good bit. And so yeah, it was really cool for sure.
1:02:49.4 Kenzie: I was thinking about that, Benghazi, even reading the book, there was redactions, I feel like that helps almost to… Again, the other side of the political argument to understand the government hides a lot of stuff from us, a lot of stuff, and stuff goes down like that. And can you imagine if that was here? I mean, it is totally, terrorism is in the country for sure. But, I don’t know. I feel like that stuff kind of just sets the example of why we need to keep our firearms.
1:03:19.9 BB: Well, I think that… [chuckle] I think folks on every side of the aisle now with just how far the internet’s come and just how available information is, I think really, a lot… Everyone’s starting to understand that. I think if something like The Terminal List had come out 20 years ago, everyone would’ve been like, “Oh, this is just like a sci-fi movie. Like that would never happen,” type thing. And we’re watching it today going like, “Yeah, that probably is happening.” Like [laughter] it’s just got a completely believable storyline. And so it’s scary to think about, but at least we’re not blind to it like we probably were at one point, so.
1:03:54.7 Kenzie: Yeah. It’s sad that people have to almost die for things like that. Yeah, interesting. So to wrap this up too, I don’t know if you wanna leave people with thoughts of why they should consider concealed carry, what they… Their mindset should shift when they do get into firearm ownership and even being welcoming to other people that might not like them, any other final thoughts? [1:04:18.6] ____.
1:04:18.7 BB: That’s a big open-ended question. There is so many places you could go with that. Well, I think we’ve… As far as the getting into concealed carry thing, we’ve kind of hit on my motivation for that already. I am… I think anybody in this day and age understands that evil exists in this world and there really are very real threats to your health and safety out there in the world, unfortunately. And I think sticking your head in the sand and just saying, “Well, that will never happen to me” is just not an acceptable solution for me, in my book. And it’s… Even if it’s okay for you personally, is that okay for you for the folks that are around you that you care about? And so if it’s not, then you know, really there are steps to try to mitigate risk, and those kind of things are somewhat minimal. Obviously we avoid stupid places at stupid times with stupid people, but you know, we have to go to school, we have to go to church, we have to do things that involve us being around other people and these things are just, these kind of events can happen pretty much any time any place.
1:05:33.6 BB: And so if you want to have a way to defend yourself, concealed carry is a great freedom that we have in this country. And I think we should absolutely be taking advantage of it if you are willing to invest the time and money to actually be an asset. And to have that level of competency where you’re again an asset, not a liability then it’s absolutely something that’s, I think, a valuable pursuit for sure, as far as being prepared and just being ready to defend yourself and your family, your loved ones, if you needed to do that at some point. So, yeah. Yeah, absolutely.
1:06:08.7 Kenzie: How do you teach the mindset around that too? I mean, if you think about it going to play tennis or learning tennis or golf or bowling, There’s not a huge lift for people like, oh I just, I know to go to bowling alley, I’m gonna rent stuff there. They think firearms like, oh my God, like I’m intimidated because now it’s I gotta learn firearms and ammo. And like, where do I find that and do I need eyes do or I need ears, what do I need that I don’t know that I need. So it’s like this overwhelming amount of stuff, but how easy.
1:06:31.9 BB: It is.
1:06:33.5 Kenzie: Is it to get into it to too at the same time?
1:06:35.5 BB: It is There’s I mean there’s, and it’s one of those things, like there is a barrier to entry, Like if unfortunately…
1:06:41.8 Kenzie: Fishing is too. But yeah.
1:06:43.7 BB: Like everything else. The thing with fishing, it’s like you can buy a rod and a lure and you can go fishing, you may not catch anything. But you can go do stuff. It’s like with if you’re looking into getting into concealed carry, what you’re probably gonna have to do is you’re gonna have to buy gun and magazines and a holster. And like you said, personal the PPE, the eyes and the ears, and you’re gonna have to go take a concealed carry class to get certified. Then you’re gonna have to take a class that actually teaches you how to shoot and to do that, you’re gonna have to buy a thousand pounds of ammo.
1:07:18.6 BB: And, you’re looking at a fairly significant investment up front of time as well as the finances to get into that. It doesn’t have to be as crazy as a lot of people make it out to be, but it’s still fairly significant. I mean, you’re looking at probably a good thousand dollar process just to get started. The good news is, if you find out, you find good training, we take it as an example. I think the cool thing to show folks is, and we try to do this through our media and stuff in our classes as an example. I mean, we take people, our goal for kind of our core pistol or core rifle classes we have… We call the core drill at the end of our classes.
1:08:00.8 BB: And it essentially is a big running gun course of fire where you have to run like 50 yards and you go these different positions into these targets. And it’s pretty intimidating to a lot of folks. But we literally take first time shooters that have never shot a gun before that maybe will even rent a gun from me or another instructor sometimes. And they go through eight hours of training and they’re crushing that drill by the end of the day. So it doesn’t have to be be a five year process or whatever before you’re competent enough to actually run your gun. If you find some good quality instruction, you put the work in, it can happen can happen pretty quickly. So, yeah, I think it’s… I don’t want to understate the investment, there is an initial upfront investment and you have to understand that it’s a perishable skill.
1:08:43.9 BB: So it’s gonna be essentially a life lifelong dedication. You don’t have to go be a USPSAGM or whatever, but you need to keep up your skills to where you’re safe and confident. And that’s gonna be something you have to upkeep on a regular basis for forever. So good to understand that up front, but also understand that it’s… It shouldn’t be intimidating. It’s like, again, you don’t have to go through and be like a black belt level, person in shooting to be able to do the things that you need to do to be an asset.
1:09:18.7 Kenzie: Yeah. Now I try to teach this. I don’t know if you tried well or just kind of give up on it, but, people don’t prioritize their safety or their wellbeing what have you. So what’s cool is when I can get them in the class, I’m like, Hey, like you’re gonna get this class. You’re gonna get the certificate. It’s gonna be good for you. I hate telling it’s gonna be good for you. I’m like, Hey, do this like Monday, do this Tuesday. Get this done. I wish I knew, like I used to teach in Florida and I teach in Tennessee. I can’t see like, who actually follows up after my class and like goes and gets their permit or whatever friends tell me that they do. But I know that there are people that take it and they never go apply or they never go get it. And they never pursue it any further, like, or they want to. And they keep talking about it, talking about, I’m like bullshit. Like when are you going to go sign up and do this? I don’t understand how to make people… Again, you want it more than them. You care more than them, but they should. [chuckle] How do you make people prioritize this?
1:10:13.0 BB: You can’t make people do anything.
1:10:14.4 Kenzie: I know, but it’s so frustrating because they’re like, oh, I don’t have money. Okay. Stop drinking, alcohol for one weekend. Don’t go out to eat or don’t buy those clothes. Like it’s very simple. Like you said, a thousand dollar investment on your life versus a coffin. That’s probably 5 grand, 10 grand for your family. Choose, not wrong.
1:10:33.7 Kenzie: It’s expensive to die. You’re giggling again.
1:10:38.3 Kenzie: It’s true.
1:10:40.1 BB: Yeah. Yeah. You’re not wrong. You’re not wrong. Yeah. No it’s one of those things. Yeah. It’s definitely can be frustrating for sure. I don’t even deal. I don’t even do permit classes.
1:10:52.7 Kenzie: Yeah. I’m not at your level. I’m never gonna teach people because I don’t have the knowledge to do.
1:10:56.6 BB: It’s not even that it’s just like the required. I did teach them in Virginia, the required, the way that the state does required training here in North Carolina is absolutely atrocious and they actually mandate eight hours of classroom time in your…
1:11:11.4 Kenzie: Same [1:11:12.3] ____ put up a PowerPoint [1:11:15.9] ____.
1:11:16.0 BB: That’s right in your one day course. And so you’re literally not allowed to teach people how to shoot because there’s not enough time, the way, pretty much every like range in my area does it is you shoot the qual before the class. Because they don’t want, they basically have you show up before the indoor range like actually opens. And so you shoot the qual real quick and then you go have the class. And so they’re basically, your two choices for running a class like that or are with the people that are gonna show up. Is either, A, fail 80%, at least of the people that are gonna come through your course or set a qual that is just like literally a first time shooter can pass it effortlessly. And then you sign off on that person being good to go out there in the world with a gun. And it’s like, I’m not willing to do either of those things. And so I just… I can’t be a part of the system that’s in place right now. And it’s really frustrating, but it is what it is, so.
1:12:14.3 Kenzie: For sure, sorry I take you down there, but.
1:12:16.7 BB: Yeah no.
1:12:17.4 Kenzie: All right, any final thoughts you wanna leave listeners with too?
1:12:21.6 BB: No. That was… This was great. I appreciate you having me on it was a good time.
1:12:26.4 Kenzie: Oh yeah. And I learned a lot. So for people that do wanna look up your classes, follow you on social media, what’s your social media and your website stuff.
1:12:34.0 BB: Yeah. It’s just pretty much SpecTrain all the places on the YouTubes and the Instagrams and so forth, website’s spectrain.us. And then I have the… I’m slowly rebuilding my personal more competition style page got Zucked a little while back, but it’s P3 Performance is the new page over there. If you’re more in the competition crowd, that’s where I post a lot of the stage runs and that kind of stuff. So yeah.
1:13:00.3 Kenzie: What is P3 for, by the way?
1:13:01.6 BB: So that was… You were like the first person to ask that. It’s so funny. I would expect to get that question more often. Yeah, no. So that was actually, I, my, that was actually my first company name before coming to SpecTrain, was P3 and at the time it stood for precision, personal, protection. Because I was super cool like that, but, yeah, so that was just the name that I had from that account before I took over the SpecTrain account and I just kind of stuck with that name ’cause people kinda know it. And, yeah.
1:13:31.6 Kenzie: Yeah. You don’t have to answer this, but I’m gonna make you answer it anyways. So this whole podcast, I know people listening are gonna feel the same way. You’re very, very, very, very, very well spoken, very highly educated. I’m always impressed from learning from you and all of that. How old are you?
1:13:47.6 BB: 28.
1:13:49.5 Kenzie: Yeah. It’s, really cool to, I don’t see you that way. I see like 30s, I think we’ve talked about this before but no. I mean like so well spoken well educated, very self-aware. It takes a lot for anybody. I think especially these days in our twenties. I mean, we’re both are, but like to be able to understand the real world and what’s going on. So good on you and having a business and working and all of the things that you’re doing. It’s impressive.
1:14:14.0 BB: No, I appreciate it. And, back at you for sure.
1:14:18.0 Kenzie: Trying. Trying to make a difference.
1:14:19.6 BB: Absolutely. Absolutely.
1:14:21.3 Kenzie: Awesome. Well, Billy, thank you again. Hopefully one day you’ll find it fun again and squad with me in my pickle kind of course.
1:14:26.9 BB: Absolutely. Absolutely.
1:14:28.9 Kenzie: We’ll have to get you a Jersey.
1:14:34.0 BB: You can have my word.
1:14:34.1 Kenzie: Have you seen those by the way?
1:14:35.4 BB: I have seen those. Yeah. I have seen those. Yeah.
1:14:40.9 Kenzie: Okay. [laughter] It’s soo good.
1:14:43.0 BB: I’ll use the cop out that I have my own jerseys with…
1:14:47.1 BB: Yeah. My sponsors and so forth on them, but I appreciate the offer for sure.
1:14:52.7 Kenzie: Love it.
1:14:54.3 BB: Otherwise, I’d be right there.
1:14:56.1 Kenzie: No, I know.
1:14:56.1 BB: Yeah, of course.
1:14:57.9 Kenzie: Love it. Cool. Well, Reticle Up podcast listener stay tuned for next up soon. We’re gonna keep deep diving into these heavy subjects and also knowledgeable areas to help you learn and grow. So stay tuned for more.
1:15:09.2 Kenzie: Thanks for listening to the Reticle Up Podcast. Be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcast and on YouTube follow along on social media at Reticle Up or 3GunKenzie.
About Reticle Up
The Reticle Up Podcast is where our resident competitive shooting expert, 3 Gun Kenzie, interviews competitive shooters, hunters, fisherman, archers, entrepreneurs, and outdoorsmen.
Come learn we she interviews people from all walks of life, in different shooting disciplines, all across the world, from novices to professionals, of all ages.
No matter what, everyone has something they can teach you so come join me on the journey.
Be sure to subscribe to the Reticle Up Podcast wherever you get your podcasts from. Leave us a review online and be sure to follow us on social media! Follow the host at @3gunkenzie on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.