2012 was a great year at Personal Defense Network. We hit many milestones far ahead of schedule, launched our Premium Membership option, and joined forces with the NRA for a new Personal Defense News email blast that goes out to over one million NRA members every month. And of course, we produced scores of new content pieces to add to our ever-growing library of personal defense videos and articles. PDN is the most comprehensive collection of high-quality training information available anywhere.
Every year, we look back to see what the most popular articles and videos on our website were. This helps us to learn more about what interests our members and visitors, but it is also fun to revisit this great information and think about why we presented it in the first place. Here are the top five videos and articles from 2012, with some thoughts about why they are important for you to check out.
Most Watched Videos
Sadly, this clip was brought to our online platform from our Active Shooter Response DVD in the wake of a tragic school attack in Connecticut in December. It quickly became one of our most popular videos, as people who may never have dreamed of actually training with a firearm started seeking out training information. While this may be far below your knowledge of defensive firearms, this is one video to share with anyone you care about, but who can’t get to the range.
It’s not surprising that information on using a laser cartridge to sight in a firearm was a popular video this year. As time and budgets become more restricted for many people, using a non-live-fire option to establish or confirm zero on a handgun is a great option. These cartridges, actually designed for training to supplement your live-fire activities, make a great low-time, low-cost, reusable sight-in option.
The pump shotgun is one of the most popular firearms in America. Owned for hunting, sport and defensive purposes, the only drawback often cited in regard to the 12-gauge shotgun is recoil. This is especially troublesome for people who are sincerely interested in spending time training with their preferred home-defense long gun. Recoil-reducing stocks make each shot noticeably less punishing, which encourages more training, more often.
If you pick the right defensive handgun, it is probably best left in its stock configuration for efficiency and reliability. But if there is one area where many stock guns suffer, it is the factory sights. Not only are many sights set up with narrow rear notches (better for target shooting), but many also have a potentially fatal flaw: a sloped leading edge on the rear sight. In this video, which also shows modified magazine base plates and release, I revealed the design and use of my Claw Emergency Manipulation Rear Sight. Sales of the sight began in October and have been great … and many people learned about it through this video!
I have always said that a laser should be a tertiary aiming device. Primary defensive aiming should be done kinesthetically. After that, using your sights, especially for higher levels of precision, is the standard. In specific circumstances, including shooting from retention when a threat is close to you (but not in contact), a laser can be your best option. This video shows you how and why.
Most Read Articles
In this outstanding article, Contributor Grant Cunningham (one of the nation’s most respected industry writers) covers the issue of older eyes and handgun sights more thoroughly than any other piece I’ve ever seen. He investigates the cause of the problems, discusses the typical solutions, and gives practical advice on how best to solve any problem you may be having in regard to defensive shooting.
I wrote this article when I was actually going through the procedure I describe with a new gun of my own. Many times a year, students come to my classes with a firearm that either doesn’t fit them or is unreliable. Following this guide can keep you from being “that guy.” More importantly, following this procedure will dramatically increase the chances that your gun will work when you need it most in a defensive situation!
Grant Cunningham, the only contributor with two articles in this year’s Top Five, gives his usual thorough treatment to the fact that many people successfully defend themselves with firearms with little or no training whatsoever. In examining why this occurs, Grant identifies what things really are important to train for and the best way to go about doing it. He also analyzes how to evaluate your own defensive skills and throws in an important reminder about why you still need to train, despite the statistics.
Combat Focus™ Shooting Instructor Mike Riter wrote this after a situation that occurred in his own remote area of South Dakota, and it quickly became one of the most-read articles on the site this year. Not surprising when we consider the number of PDN members who live in rural areas. While we understood long ago that crime happens outside the big city, we need to think about specific tactics and behaviors that can enhance our safety in rural environments.
Andy Loeffler, lead instructor at Black Wing Shooting Center, has been shooting AR-type rifles (and teaching others to do so) since long before having an optic on your carbine was expected. That means he’s dealt, and come to terms with, fighting through the many choices that exist and figuring out which one is “best.” Of course, that answer will vary by user due to the many factors each one of us deals with. If you own a defensive carbine or are thinking about getting one, this article is a must read!
We have big plans for Personal Defense Network in 2013 as well, and again promise to bring you important and progressive content for your personal, home and family defensive needs. Our regular contributors will be back with more, and we’re adding a few world-class instructors to our team. If you haven’t already become a Premium Member, now is the time to join and see what else we’ve got to offer, including full-length DVDs and exclusive video content. We appreciate your support over the past year and look forward to your feedback during the next one.
If you haven’t already become a Premium Member, now is the time to join.