Competition with your carry gun – another reason to

Lot’s of back and forth on these intertubes about the guys that insist on competing with their carry gear and even adhering to street rules rather than the game’s rules.  I get both sides…but let me give you a decent reason to consider using your carry gear.

Was out shooting IDPA-ish rules today with “carry guns”.  Since most participants were shooting Shields, mag loading was limited to 7 rounds.  I did OK but what constantly surprised me was slide-lock.  I simply didn’t expect to be out of ammo at that point because I usually practice with a FS pistol.  But I often carry a Shield.

Might be a lesson there…

Four cost-saving, no-exertion ways to up your performance

Hey, how good can something be that doesn’t cost money (in fact saves it), and doesn’t require any sweat?  You be the judge.

  1. Slow down before you begin to shoot.  Before you shoot a string just be still for a few seconds, centering and collecting yourself.  Visualize what it is you are going to do and how you are going to do it.  Focus yourself.
  2. Slow down as you draw.  You know that a drawstroke (AKA “presentation”) is composed of several segments.   Isolate the one (or the couple) that are giving you trouble, and slow down just enough so you can think and feel your way through them.  If you can’t do them correctly slowly, you sure can’t fast.
  3. Slow down as you shoot.  I’ve hit this point a lot in other posts, but you don’t want to get in the habit of shooting faster than you can see – that is, faster than you can assess what’s happening in front of your muzzle.  That’s about 1/3 to 1/2 splits.  LAPD SWAT trains to shoot at 1/2 second per shot max for this very reason, and they see the shit a lot more than you and I do.  Any faster can easily land you in the shit on the street.  You can do this on a static range by making a conscious point to actually see and assess your target before every shot – even if using a static paper bulls-eye target.
  4. Slow down your ammo consumption.  Dry fire more and shoot less.  Even better, get someone to load your mags for the next day’s session ball-and-dummy style.

Gonna have a t-shirt printed someday that says “The Way of the Slug”!

Got a few spare bucks…

…and want to help lots of people who desperately need it?  Your dollars won’t go to waste here:

You’ll see from the “Do Something Nice” page on this blog that I am involved in animal welfare charities (mostly pit bull rescue), but Ravi Bansal is doing something great for some poor people in this world.  Never met the guy, but he’s a relative of some of the best people I know.  Take a look.

And if you have a blog or any other pulpit, please pass it on.


Providing medical care to someone you just shot (part 2)

I had a post on this subject below.  Today, in their latest Journal, the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network had this as their “Attorney Question of the Month”, in which they asked a bunch of people who’ve like actually gone to law school and stuff to give their opinion.

You’ll see some different opinions there, and the range of responses definitely provides some angles I hadn’t considered.  Well worth the small amount of time to read.  You can also read the entire Journal, which is one of the benefits of the ACLDN, my preferred self-defense insurance provider.  Good people there.

I still stand by my original take on the subject, but now I feel better informed and somewhat validated.

An impassioned plea to firearms manufacturers

I helped out recently at a class for new shooters, many women.  Every woman showed up with small pistol that they had either been sold by some piece of gun shop crap, or given by their ignorant husbands or boyfriends.  Some of the women could not even work the slide on their “little lady guns”.

<Want to screeeeeem!>

Most guns are too big in the grip for women.  Hell, I have dead average size hands for a man (in the U.S.) and most double stack pistols are too big for my hands.

Many women can’t reach the  controls of most handguns easily – a design issue with the  blame at the feet of the manufacturers, not a consequence of physics.

All new shooters are surprised to learn that big guns are easier to shoot, easier to manipulate, and have less recoil than small guns.  The gun shops are responsible for selling them the small guns that are useless.  Curse them!  Further, even if you carry a small gun you should do most of your skill development with a full size one (see post somewhere below on this).

There is no acceptable gun for most woman to learn on and/or carry on the market.  A tuned steel revolver in K-frame size with small stocks and light loads would be good to learn on…but what would she carry?

“Practice” and “skill development” or, if you really are a macho idiot, “strength gains”, are not the answer for women.  Sure everyone needs a good dose of these, but why should women have to be at a disadvantage to men here – why do they have to work impossibly hard at it?  Remember that most women, like most new shooters, are not going to make this their passion in life – they just want to get enough skill to defend themselves; they are not shooting junkies nor will they be.

Small revolvers, and ones with hard triggers (which is almost a small ones) have a trigger that’s way too heavy.

SA guns, in any size, are not a beginner’s gun.

DA/SA guns are not only not a beginners gun, they suffer from all the issues above (trigger weight, control reach), and are generally kinda stupid to begin with (they can be mastered, but really, why go through the extra work?).

.22 revolvers or pistols are not the answer because .22s are such unreliable rounds.

So herewith my plea to the industry, and industry by the way that knows that women are the fastest growing segment of the market:  make a gun that’s both suitable for a small statured, small-handed, not-too-strong person to both train on and carry.  Design a new one – don’t plate an existing one pink.  I have two suggestions:

  • A tip-up barrel .380 auto, striker-fired, DAO.  Big enough that the recoil of the blowback design is minimized; small enough to carry.  Smaller than the SIG .380  (can’t recall the model number), but bigger than a Beretta Tomcat.  Work with the ammo guys to come up with a truly suitable, maximized .380 defensive round.
  • A smallish revolver in a reasonable cartridge, with a smooth, easy-to-pull trigger that’s reachable.  Something along the lines of a 3-inch j-frame in steel, maybe a little larger.  Work with the ammo guys to come up with a standard-pressure .38 cartridge that’s defense-optimized and such that the whole package is recoil-friendly.  Or hell, go the .40 S&W or .357 SIG route and invent a while new cartridge – there’s the entire female market to sell it to!

Protecting Our Kids In A Time Of Terror — (Marcus Wynne)

I doubt I have any additional readers over and above those that follow the people who’ve already posted a link to this, but just in case, here’s the link to the sage article of the same title by Marcus Wynne.   See the link to Marcus’ blog on the “recommended resources” page of this one.  The man’s been training, training with, or hanging with the tips of the spears in CT work for decades.  In the relatively short few years I’ve know him I’ve already seen some of his predictions — which to be frank I kinda doubted —  about the direction that terrorist vectors would take come true.  Unfortunately.

Six training fetishes

  1. The speed reload.  You either need to get your gun reloaded ASAP, or the fight is over; there’s not much in between.  See post below.
  2. Not using the slide lock to release the slide.  Yeah, I know that for years we taught (I sure did) that you used the off hand to slingshot the slide, but really: both work if they are instinctive for you.  I do both unconsciously now.  BTW – Paul Howe agrees; I rest my case.
  3. Shooting too fast.  I can actually get hits at close distance with .17 splits (and I don’t know if I can actually pull the trigger on my M&P any faster than that), but discovering that was an experiment; it’s not something I train to do.  I doubt you can assess what’s going on in front of your muzzle any faster than 3x/second (.33 splits).  I can’t.  For real you’ll shoot faster that you train, so ingraining anything faster than .33 splits seems to me to be a great way to set yourself up for jail.  Shooting too fast, and shooting without assessment, can be a training scar.
  4. Looking good on the range.  Sure, I want to look competent in front of onlookers as much as the next guy/gal/personage/xerson/whatever-these-days.   But every now and then you need to spend a session drawing that j-frame from your ankle holster, or whatever your actual carry method is – and yeah, I’m looking at you Mr.-1911-bigot-who-actually-carries-a-j-frame  🙂 .  This can be done at home with dry fire if you prefer, but do it you must.
  5. Isolating movement.  It’s a maxim of  competitive shooting — and of too many “tactical” instructors — that a shooter should keep their entire body still when presenting the handgun except for the necessary movement of the arms alone.  No “dipping”, no twisting, no head lowering, etc.  This is certainly true and proven in the competitive world, but over emphasized in fighting courses.  You should be moving anyway as your default in a real situation: to cover if possible, or to shield an innocent, and in any case laterally.  In the context of such movement a little dip of head lowering is irrelevant.  The time spent on draw movement isolation is better spent on learning appropriate body movement tactics and technique.
  6. Too light a trigger.  Everyone can definitely shoot faster and somewhat more accurately with a very light trigger.  But it’s a poor shot that can’t shoot acceptably well with a eight or ten pound trigger, even if that ten pounds travels over the long pull of a double-action revolver.  Less than four pounds is street-unsafe, while more than eight pounds if perhaps unnecessary.  (Which is what makes the 1911 and other SA pistols — including DA/SA ones — a true expert’s gun if they are to be street-carried at all.)  Most real-world trainers recommend about a six pound trigger on a modern striker-fired pistol.  You want to shoot the trigger in practice that you carry, so getting  a fancy after-market trigger replacement can be street-unwise, and can even hurt you later in court.