Ken Hackathorn is one of the most respected trainers in the gun industry. In the upcoming July 2014 issue of TACTICAL WEAPONS, author David Bahde travels to Wilson Combat’s Circle WC Ranch for some expert pistol/carbine training using a Wilson Combat CQB 1911 and PWS MK110 rifle with Hackathorn himself.

Bahde writes, “Ken Hackathorn has served as a small arms instructor with the U.S Army Special Forces, the FBI, and he has trained tactical units all over the world. His LE training background is extensive, and he remains a deputy. As one of the first instructors at Gunsite, he has been providing training for well over 35 years. Using his experience in the field, his training is completely dedicated to practical application.

“Given that Hackathorn is a founding member of both the IPSC and IDPA, he certainly understands the pistol game, but his emphasis is on what works in a fight. He starts by making a clear delineation between a shooting and a gunfight. It’s pretty simple: In a gunfight, people are shooting back. That dynamic is huge and changes much of what you do.

“The first day of the course focused on accuracy and properly manipulating the pistol. Hackathorn likes to make sure all your manipulations are accomplished without ever losing sight of the threat. So all the reloading and clearance drills are accomplished with the pistol in your ‘workspace.’ This lets you do what is needed to stay in the fight without losing track of whomever you are fighting. We practiced reloading from slide-lock and talked a bit about tactical reloads. Hackathorn acknowledges the value of topping off your gun, but only when there is a lull in the fight or it is over.”

To learn more, check out the July 2014 issue of TACTICAL WEAPONS, available on newsstands and digitally May 20, 2014. To subscribe, go to

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