Tier 1 Citizen

    Who have you trained with?

    Crisis Negotiators Training (FBI), Tactical Defense Institute (John Benner), Talon Defense (Chase Jenkins), Lighthorse Tactical (Curt Carpenter), Tactical Response (James Yeager), Vickers Tactical (Larry Vickers), Way of the Gun (Frank Proctor), Executive Resources International (David Sowder), Handgun Combatives (Dave Spaulding), High Caliber Training (Craig Sawyer), Sentinel Concepts (Steve Fisher), Sparrow Defense (Clark Sparrow), Centrifuge Training (Will Petty), Wartac CQC (Richard Nance), Hugh "Uncle Hugh" Coffee (Ditch Medicine), Chris Costa (Costa Ludus)

    What's on your training resume?

    This is a great opportunity to make a point that I've always needed to cover but I could never get  into an article without the editors cutting it out. To say that someone is going to "reinvent the wheel" when it comes to firearms training is a misconception. A lot of what we know about violent engagements with weapons is just old things happening to new people which is why it passes for "new knowledge." The point being that a great deal of what is out there in the training world comes down to reps. You can only master something if you do it a lot. 

    I approach training from the standpoint of the student. Over the years I've submitted my will to the leading of many instructors and in doing so have learned reams of knowledge that couldn't possibly be picked up by any other method other than being in a live fire environment. This is why I choose to train in similar disciplines - in multiples. Sometimes I will re-take a class I took the prior year just to get a refresher or to see if the instructors have thrown in a curve ball. Coincidentally, the good ones do. 

    My favorite instructors to train with are: 

    Dave Spaulding  http://handguncombatives.com

    Chase Jenkins  https://talondefense.us.com

    Hugh Coffee  http://ditchmedicine.com/index.html

    Chris Costa  https://costaludus.com

    Why? Because, these men exemplify the meaning of the word teacher. Some instructors have knowledge, and some have wisdom. These guys have wisdom that comes from years of watching their students carefully and not allowing anything to go unnoticed. Like I said earlier, it all comes down to reps.  

    So what's in my training resume? Here, have a look. This is the stuff that's in my "Difficult Courses" file. I won't bother listing the "Gimme Courses" and insult your intelligence with resume padding. Yeah the "Gimme Courses" are the crap I was given as a cop that passes for training. Everything here comes with bruises and scars, and a lot of wisdom, discernment, and patience.

    In Alphabetical Order:


    A.P.O.S.T.C.: Tactical Operator Training - Tac Firearms II 

    Costa Ludus: Vehicle Elements Theory 

    Executive Resources International: Dignitary & Executive Protection

    FBI: Basic Crisis Negotiations

    FBI: Crisis Negotiations - Specialty Topics

    Handgun Combatives: Advanced Combative Pistol

    Handgun Combatives: Critical Space Pistol

    Handgun Combatives: Adaptive Combat Pistol


    High Caliber Training: Remington Rifle 1

    High Caliber Training: Roger’s Range

    Sentinel Concepts: Vehicle Low Light CQB (Steve Fisher & Will Petty)

    Talon Defense: Defensive Carbine

    Talon Defense: Low Light Carbine 1

    Talon Defense: Low Light Carbine 2

    Talon Defense: Low Light Carbine 3

    Talon Defense: Carbine Skill Builder 1

    Talon Defense: Carbine Skill Builder 2

    Talon Defense: Carbine Tactics 1

    Talon Defense: Carbine Tactics 2

    Talon Defense: Combat Casualty Care (Handgun/ with Hugh Coffee)

    Talon Defense: Combat Casualty Care Advanced (Handgun/Carbine/ with Hugh Coffee) 

    Talon Defense: Concealed Carry Handgun 

    Talon Defense: Defensive Handgun

    Talon Defense: Low Light Handgun 1

    Talon Defense: Low Light Handgun 2

    Talon Defense: Low Light Handgun 3

    Talon Defense: Street Defense Handgun

    Talon Defense: Handgun Tactics 1

    Talon Defense: Handgun Tactics 2

    Talon Defense: Handgun Vehicle Defense

    Talon Defense: Handgun/Carbine Counter Ambush & Vehicle Defense Low Light

    Talon Defense: Handgun/Carbine Injured Shooter 2-Day

    Talon Defense: Handgun/Carbine Injured Shooter 1-Day

    Talon Defense: Handgun/Carbine Injured Shooter 1-Day

    Talon Defense: Handgun/Carbine Injured Shooter Low Light

    Talon Defense: Handgun/Carbine Vehicle Defense

    Talon Defense: Handgun/Carbine Vehicle Defense & Counter Ambush 1

    Talon Defense: Handgun/Carbine Vehicle Defense & Counter Ambush 2

    Talon Defense: Handgun/Carbine Vehicle Defense & Counter Ambush 3

    Talon Defense: Handgun/Carbine Vehicle Defense & Counter Ambush Low Light 1

    Talon Defense: Handgun/Carbine Vehicle Defense & Counter Ambush Low Light 2

    Talon Defense: Handgun/Carbine Vehicle Defense Low Light


    Tactical Defense Institute: Tactical Rifle 1

    Tactical Defense Institute: Tactical Rifle 2

    Tactical Defense Institute: Tactical Rifle 2

    Tactical Defense Institute: Tactical Rifle 3

    Tactical Defense Institute: Tactical Rifle Instructor

    Tactical Defense Institute: Pistol 1-3

    Tactical Defense Institute: Pistol 1-3

    Tactical Defense Institute: Handgun Active Killer

    Tactical Defense Institute: Shotgun Tactical

    Tactical Response: Fighting Rifle

    Tactical Response: Immediate Action Medical

    Vickers Tactical: LE/MIL CQB

    Way of the Gun: Performance Carbine & Pistol

    Wartac CQC: Close Quarter Pistol

    Wartac CQC: Arm's Length Gunfighting

    Why Do You Build Your Own Rifles?

    With the exception of rifles from Daniel Defense and BCM, there's little on the market that really blows my skirt up. I like building with barrels from Ballistic Advantage mostly. I also like the sporter uppers from Anderson Manufacturing because they're simple and lightweight. I'm a creature of habits born out of many years of doing overly Gucci rifles that constantly left me hanging. Now I build what I know will work regardless of what the latest industry trends are.

    I also like Geissele triggers because they're Mil/Spec reliable with a performance feel. I've often said that the trigger is the bio-mechanical interface to the inner-workings of the rifle. Without a great trigger you're just applying pressure and guessing when the shot will break. 

    When I lay out a rifle on paper I follow one simple rule. I always remind myself that "Simple Is Good." If I keep that in the foreground, I can't go wrong. 

    Why do you like SBR's so much?

    Over a decade ago I began working with short barreled rifles. I spent a lot of time on the range testing all of the myths surrounding these weapons and kept disproving them. I'd heard that they were inaccurate, were incapable of delivering long range shots without the round "keyholing," and were just about useless in a fight. Not only have I disproven these claims; the fact that AR-15 "pistols" have become as prominent as they are shows that I'm not the only one that sees the potential in these variants. I look forward to the day that the Hughes Amendment is done away with and SBR's are nothing more than just another option for when you chose to buy, or build your blaster.  

    Why do you always close your videos with "God bless you all?"

    I chose to start doing that a couple of years ago in direct defiance of the God hating agendas that I saw forming in this nation. Obama did a bang-up job of turning our nation on its ear. The out of control violence in our streets is proof of what happens when a nation tells God to take a hike. Quickly is approaching the day when right becomes wrong, and evil is called good. It seems that the only time one can now speak the name of God, or Jesus, is with a curse word attached to them. Not only is that sacrilegious, it's also blatantly suicidal! To thumb your nose at God is to say "nah, I really don't need your protection from day to day, so leave me alone!" Coincidentally that's what we're doing as a nation. We've collectively turned our backs on God and told him to take a hike. God loves us, all of us, and because God is love he is choosing to not force himself on us, and is doing exactly what we're telling him to do - he is leaving us...alone. Our actions have consequences, and we're reaping what we've sown as a nation. It's painful to have to say these things but there it is - truth is painful! 

    The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. 

    ~Winston Churchill

    Why don't you offer Law Enforcement or Military discounts?

    My focus is on the legally armed citizen - hence the name of this company "Tier 1 Citizen." If the focus of everything I do is on the citizenry, what kind of a message am I sending by giving LE/MIL discounts? To do so is to say "cops and soldiers are special people who deserve a discount above you - regular people" Yeah, that'd be kind of hypocritical wouldn’t it? I don't offer LE/MIL discounts because it's disrespectful to the citizenry, and propagates the mooch mentality in our cops and soldiers.

    That brings us to the follow up question/argument that goes with the first one. 

    "That must mean that you don't respect the LE/MIL community." 

    That's actually what some people think about me, which is hilarious because the cops and soldiers I train with know me better than that. Not only do I support LE/MIL, I do it with my time and money. It’s easy to put a sticker on your car that shows your "support" for LE/MIL. But, the only entity your supporting with the purchase of that sticker is the store you bought it from. The fact is that few of us are willing to open our wallets and hand over cash to support cops and soldiers. But ask the cops and soldiers that I go out to dinner with who picks up the tab, and they’ll tell you “Abner does.” Ask them who slips them free gear and they’ll tell you the same thing. I pay for dinner when I'm sitting at a table of just LE/MIL folks. Would I do that if I were sitting in mixed company? No! Why not? Because it would basically say that the regular folk can pick up their own tab but the cops are special. I sure hope you're starting to see why LE/MIL discounts are a bad idea. 

    As you all know, I'm a former cop, and the one thing that I consistently saw from my fellow cops was that they always expected a discount at the cash register. Is it true cops aren't paid well? Absolutely! However, when I was a cop I noticed that we police officers always seemed to have enough money to buy the things we wanted. Whether that be the latest gadget, cell phone, top end sunglasses, tobacco, alcohol, or a Harley Davidson. The fact of the matter is that everything I just named off is not a need, it’s a want. It's human nature to always allocate funds to spend on the things we want. If you’re LE/MIL you need to learn how to use the weaponry you've been entrusted with. LE/MIL isn't a job, it's a way of life. You are our last line of defense against tyranny. We the people are the first line of defense against tyranny, and if we're dedicating ourselves to mastering our weapons at our expense, it's only reasonable that LE/MIL should do the same. Expecting the "powers that be" to train the cops and soldiers is an exercise in futility. I say this now directly to LE/MIL personnel. Most of your "leaders" don't care about you, if they did they'd invest in you. If you care about yourself you need to do this on your own dime.

    This is why I will never offer LE/MIL discounts. It's disrespectful to the citizenry, and propagates the mooch mentality in our cops and soldiers.

    So we may boldly say: the Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me? ~Hebrews 13:06