Why Firearms Training is a Must

Why Firearms Training is a Must


Hi, my name is Jon Hodoway and I am a firearms training junkie. For the last three years I have made my living as owner and professional firearms trainer at Nighthawk Custom Training Academy in Centerton, Arkansas. I am also a staff instructor for the Massad Ayoob Group. Prior to this, I spent about ten years as an itinerant volunteer firearms trainer. Now that I have fully disclosed my own personal bias, here are my best reasons why you should get professional firearms training.

Reasons Why You Should Get Professional Firearms Training

  1. It’s a bargain. Consider how much time, money and frustration you will save by getting training versus figuring it out for yourself. I think it was Todd Jared who said he shot close to a million rounds before he finally figured it out. A quality firearms instructor can help you get better more quickly and with less rounds down range. Students in my classes regularly state that time is the most valuable resource they are investing in training. And with the lack of available practice ammunition we all want to make every round count.
  2. As firearms owners we have a duty to understand the manual of arms for our guns. The harm we can do, not only to ourselves and others, but to the entire Second Amendment cause is tremendous. Firearms instruction can help you to understand how your gun functions and how to operate it safely and responsibly.
  3. If you carry a firearm for self-defense, please do not deceive yourself into thinking that self-esteem is the same thing as skill. In moments of conflict, we do not rise to the occasion, we default to our training.  Your firearms instructor can offer an objective evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses with your gun.  A mammal has four reactions to stress: fight, flight, freeze or posture. If your plan is to fight effectively, it’s going to require some training. The other three responses will work themselves out but probably not in your favor.
  4. Men, this one is specifically aimed at you. Although I am not a licensed marriage counselor, I have saved more than one relationship with the following advice: Guys, don’t attempt to instruct your beloved how to shoot. You are emotionally connected to each other. This makes it very difficult to be objective for both parties. I cannot tell you the number of times that a husband/boyfriend has told me, “If I had said that to her, we’d still be fighting!” I can say it as a professional firearms instructor because I am objective and not emotionally connected to the student. They understand that my only desire is to help them to be a better shooter. Also they are not mad at me because I left the toilet seat up.

Now, go get some training.

jon-hodoway-50pxwJon Hodoway is owner / instructor at Nighthawk Custom Training Academy.
Jon actively competes in IDPA, USPSA and other shooting sports.

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New Concealed Carry Pistol CCP

Walther CCP Concealed Carry Pistol new_2014

     The all NEW Walther CCP Concealed Carry Pistol is an innovative approach to making a concealed carry pistol that is easy to use while still being comfortable and effective.

Additional information about the CCP will be announced at the NRA Annual Meeting on April 25th.

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Manufacturing Date for Your Gun

Our customer support group gets a lot of different questions.  One that keeps coming up is:

When was my Walther gun made?

It’s easy to determine if you know where to look and know how the date coding is configured.

If you want to know the date of manufacture, find the letter code on the side of the slide. DE stand for Deutschland (Germany).  To the right of the German DE proof mark, there will be two more letters.  The 2 character letter code represents the 2-digit year manufacture. The next two letters on the PK380 shown below are BA (B=1, A=0 ) the date of manufacture would be 10 or 2010.

  • A = 0
  • B = 1
  • C = 2
  • D = 3
  • E = 4
  • F = 5
  • G = 6
  • H = 7
  • I/J = 8
  • K = 9


NOTE: The PPK does not use this letter code for manufacturing year.

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Importance of Smooth Trigger Pull

By Jon Hodoway

I recently completed a week of training a security team for a private institution followed by multiple one-on-one lessons with new shooters. When I teach an inexperienced person to shoot a handgun I always start off with the fundamentals. I introduce them to stance, grip, sight alignment and trigger control. Most people assume that these four things are equally important in improving your accuracy. They are always surprised when I disclose that hitting the target is actually about 90% trigger control. Let me explain. If you ever have the opportunity to take a class with Massad Ayoob, you will get to experience the Blind Swordsman Drill. What you will discover with this drill is that, even with your eyes closed, you can still hit the target. I’ve seen many shooters who can hit a target while standing on one foot, holding the gun upside down. What I have never seen is someone who can consistently hit the target without a smooth trigger pull.

Let’s not sink into combat verbiage here. I know that some people would insist it’s a press while others would vehemently declare it’s rearward pressure. But we can all agree that you must depress the trigger without disturbing the alignment of the barrel.

As I begin to teach each new student how to depress the trigger, one of the first things that I must dispel is the notion that a smooth trigger press will feel smooth. As you begin to depress your trigger, you will feel a take-up and then, as the mechanism begins to engage, it will become harder until it reaches the rear of its stroke. The mistake that most new shooters make is (believing the trigger pull should be smooth) they apply pressure so they won’t feel the stacking or creep of the trigger. This results in excessive pressure being applied to the trigger which invariably causes the (right-handed) shooter to hit the target low and left. Most polymer pistols require approximately 5 to 6 pounds of pressure to fully release the striker. A new shooter endeavoring to have a smooth trigger may apply as much as 10 to 11 pounds of pressure. Conversely, I actively encourage new shooters to see just how little pressure they can use to fully activate the trigger.

One of the most important ways to ensure smooth trigger pull is to select the gun that is right for you. The size of the grip, length of pull and smooth, consistent trigger pull are much more conducive to effective control than just simply a light trigger. I’m a huge fan of the Walther PPQ M2 with its changeable back straps. This gun can be adapted to fit nearly any shooter. The trigger is smooth and stacks consistently all the way until it breaks and is easy to learn and control.

The next time you go to the range, try this exercise. When you’re ready to fire, with your sites aligned on the target, before you begin to break the shot, close your eyes. Now slowly break the shot. Try to describe all of the sensations that you felt as you depressed the trigger with your eyes closed. It’s amazing when we shut off one of our senses, how much more we become attuned with the others…in this case the tactile response to the trigger.

Jon HodowayJon Hodoway is owner / instructor at Nighthawk Custom Training Academy.
Jon actively competes in IDPA, USPSA and other shooting sports.


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Mindset of Shooting

By Jon Hodoway

As I sit to write this entry, I am looking at a red cylinder with a hose coming out, an activation handle and a pressure gauge. It doesn’t take a great deal of writing skill on my part for you to get the word picture in your head that what I’m referring to is a fire extinguisher.

I think that when I describe the mindset of self-defense with a firearm the best metaphor I have is a fire extinguisher. No one would object if your house or business or car were on fire and you simply picked up that fire extinguisher and tended to your business. However, when those men in the leather jackets, big hats and the red truck show up we would all expect that you would step back and let the professionals do their job.

In the same manner, if we were in a school and the building was on fire, we would say (at the very least) that the teacher was negligent if he/she didn’t attempt to use the fire extinguisher to put the fire out. Just as we would also say it would be crazy when the firemen showed up for her/him to lock them outside and say, “I’ve got this. After all, I have a fire extinguisher.”

Using a firearm for self-defense is no more paranoid than owning a fire extinguisher.

Walther Arms P99

Walther Arms P99

I remember as a youth being trained in the Boy Scouts to use the fire extinguisher for various types of fires. This simple training didn’t turn me into a pyromaniac. Nor did it make me want to insert myself into every call the fire department made. Firearms training and use for self-defense should fit much the same model; invite the professionals to the emergency as early as possible. And on those occasions when we don’t have the gift of time to allow for the professionals to arrive we should be well versed in judiciously deploying our firearm.

The training I received on extinguishing fires helped me to understand that different types of fire extinguishers worked on different types of fires. It also taught me that one size does not fit all. As you begin to look for your emergency equipment, remember that whether you select a full-sized pistol such as the Walther Arms P99 or perhaps the P99C, choose the right tool to match your ability, training and needs. Only you can weigh the trade-offs (like size vs. capacity) and determine what is right for you.

Jon HodowayJon Hodoway is owner /instructor at Nighthawk Custom Training Academy. Jon actively competes in IDPA, USPSA and other shooting sports.


Black Friday – Mags and More

mags-acc-booksDEALS & SPECIALS start on Black Friday (Nov 29th) at 12:01 a.m. CT.  We will be adding firearm magazines and firearm accessories to the online Walther Store.  We will also be offering our Walther Books with a great discount.  The Walther Books discount will last from Black Friday through the end of Cyber Monday (Nov 29th – Dec 2).

Mags and accessories can be purchased on the Walther Store starting at 12:01 a.m. Central Time November 29th.

Mags for the following pistols will be available:

  • PPQ M2 (thumb release)
  • PPQ M1 Classic (lever release)
  • P99
  • PPS
  • PPX M1

Mags for these tactical rimfire firearms will be available:

  • Colt 1911
  • Colt M4
  • HK 416
  • HK MP5
  • UZI

Click now to see what products that will be available on the store (inventory will be at zero until Black Friday):

Make sure to check out your local dealer using the Walther Dealer Locator to find even more Walther products.


NOTE: Not all mags or accessories will be available.  Some mags could sell out quickly.

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Vorhees – New National Sales Manager

Bret VorheesFORT SMITH, Arkansas – Walther Arms, Inc., the United States division of Carl Walther, is pleased to announce the appointment of Bret Vorhees as its newly-created position of National Sales Manager. Vorhees will be responsible for executing Walther Arms, Inc. sales strategies and business plans for the distribution and buying group sales channels of premium handguns and tactical rimfire firearms.

Additionally, he will be responsible for detailed programs, development of sales and training materials along with management of the company’s strong independent representative organizations. The Oregon native will lead the development of business relationships, identification of sales opportunities, and management of customer relationships in the domestic markets. He will report to Walther’s Vice-President of Sales & Marketing, Cyndi Flannigan.

We are extremely excited to have Bret join our growing team. We believe his industry experience and varied background will strengthen our relationships with our customer base. We believe Bret will also improve our efforts in training, merchandising and support all our sales efforts.

Cyndi Flannigan

Vorhees comes to Walther Arms from Leupold & Stevens, manufacturers of sporting optics, where he was an account specialist. Vorhees has additional outdoor sporting goods experience as he was previously with Crimson Trace and GOTE gear.

An avid hunter and shooter, Vorhees earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from the University of Oregon. He will be located in Walther Arms, Inc. headquarters in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

About Walther Arms
Entering its 130th year, Walther has earned the trust of law enforcement professionals, recreational shooters, and athletes through its line of reliable pistols and tactical rimfire replicas. Walther Arms manufactures and markets firearms of various calibers ranging from .22 to .40. For more information, visit


Mark Thomas, Director of Marketing, Walther Arms, Inc.

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American Rifleman – COVER

American_Rifleman_newsletterDid you see the newest edition of the American Rifleman?  “Walther. Carl Walther” – we’re on the cover of American Rifleman with a reference to 007’s brief introduction to others: “Bond. James Bond.”

Carl Walther is the cover story and there is a detailed look at our guns and some of the history of Walther.  You can click to see the full October American Rifleman magazine online.

You can click to Join the NRA or view the NRA website.

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Find A Walther Dealer

Walther-Dealer-LocatorLooking for a Walther gun or magazine?  You can now locate a local Walther Dealer on the Walther Arms Dealer Locator.

After a lot of work gathering all our dealer information and making it easy to use, we are able to offer a detailed Dealer Locator on our website.  You can just type your zip code into the search box and it will find the nearest Walther dealers. The dealer locator can also be accessed if you are on the Walther Arms Facebook page.

Walther Tactical Rimfire Videos

Do you own one of our tactical rimfire guns?  If so, you will now be able to view Takedown / Field Stripping and Cleaning videos on the Walther Firearms YouTube channel.
You can click on your gun below to view the YouTube video.

HK 416

Colt 1911 Pistol
Colt M4

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see future videos by clicking Subscribe image..Subscribe to Walther Firearms channel

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