This subject came up again today and the evaluation criteria are worth repeating.
Before you buy a gun, you should go to a range that rents guns and try different ones out to see which one is best for you.
What does “try them out” mean? How do we measure “which one is best for you?” Here is a list of worthwhile items to evaluate for you to make an informed decision about an autoloading pistol. For those who are helping a prospective purchaser, demonstrate the technique but then place the pistol in a sterile (unloaded with slide forward) condition and let them do their own evaluation without comment or coaching. You won’t be there to coach them if they need to use the pistol for real; that’s part of the evaluation.
- Load the pistol. This has two components.
- Load a magazine to full capacity.
- Load the fully charged magazine into the pistol and chamber a round.
- Manipulate the controls of the pistol.
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An article about the .25 ACP pistol cartridge came to my attention today. It says I endorse the use of that caliber for Personal Protection. This is not true. Through personal experimentation, not on humans, I have determined it simply does not have enough penetration to be a viable cartridge for the purpose.
The only incident in my database in which an Armed Citizen was seriously injured after shooting a criminal with a ‘mousegun’ occurred with a .25. The first round bounced off the attacker’s teeth at point blank range.
I would much rather have a .22LR for Personal Protection than any .25 ACP. At least it will penetrate a piece of wood enough to stick in. That has not been my experience the .25 ACP.
First shots of the decade for me. I was invited to a local indoor range, so I shot the Ill-Annoy POlice qual and the Swiss CCW qual with a .22 revolver and .22 autoloader.
The ammo was Winchester M22. The 43C had one Failure to Fire so I applied Immediate Action, to wit: press the trigger again. That solved the stoppage.
With the M&P 22 Compact I had no Failures to Fire or other stoppages.
The Ill-Annoy qual is 30 rounds and the Swiss qual is 18. The target for the Ill-Annoy qual is a piece of legal size paper in portrait mode, so I used my letter size equivalent. The specified target for the Swiss qual has a hit zone approximately equal to the -1 zone of an IDPA target so I used my letter size target to increase the challenge slightly.
They are both timed courses, which can be problematic on indoor ranges. I used theDry Fire Par Time Tracker phone app and corded the phone to Howard Leight Sync Muffs. That solution worked reasonably well.
It was nice to get out and do some shooting.
After my initial thoughts about the White Settlement church shooting, a list of other relevant factors came to mind. The conversation about the incident mostly has centered around the ability to make a 12-15 yard head shot. The tactical factors have largely been ignored or overlooked. That’s a Strategic Mistake.
Here’s my list for those wishing to do their own research and METT-TC analysis.
Not surprisingly, yesterday’s church shooting incident has generated a great of deal of discussion. As Mr. Wabash of the CIA said in Three Days of the Condor, “I miss that kind of clarity.”
Someone asked if I have analyzed various documents about Active Murderers and if I keep the documents on my website. My response was:
I tend to think about the other 3,300 violent crimes that occurred yesterday, including 43 other murders, 400 rapes, and 2,200 Aggravated Assaults.
Yesterday. Except for the other murders, they didn’t even make the news. And the other murders received about 90 seconds of coverage, on average, with no streaming replay of the event.
The kind of clarity that Mr. Jack Wilson, the Counter-Murder Operator who prevented further murders, had is rare. We should also consider the depth of Mr. Wilson’s shooting resume in terms of skill development.
This morning there was a murder in a church in Texas. A few seconds later, further murders were prevented by the quick action of a counter-murderer who protected the congregation. In the incident, it appears that someone tried to draw a pistol but was unsuccessful and got shot for his trouble. It is possible he was trying to get his cell phone to call for help, though. The footage is not very clear.
What was the requisite level of skill to end this situation? The shot would appear to be two aisles plus the width of a pew.
At the recommended 24 inches per person for 12 people (4 hymnal racks per pew with 3 per), that would be 24 feet for the pew plus 10 feet (two 5 foot aisles). https://www.lifeway.com/en/articles/church-architecture-rules-thumb-space-dimensions
Why do people carry an autoloader with an empty chamber? Because they’re concerned about having an Unintentional Discharge.
One of the comments about the incident on Facebook sums up many people’s feelings about it.
Which is more likely to save your life? Carrying an autoloader with the chamber empty or carrying a revolver ready to go? Active Self Protection provides us with some food for thought.
A Stark Reminder to Keep Your Defensive Firearm Chambered
Armed Robber Kills Store Owner Whose Gun Wasn’t Ready
Another Reminder to Carry Chamber Full
It’s often apparent in classes how much time it takes people to switch gears and ‘Get Ready.’ Transitioning our Defense Condition, both mentally and physically, from Not Ready to Ready may be the most important skill we develop. We don’t necessarily have to deal with the Tueller Principle but even if a criminal is moving at a brisk walk, we seldom have 12 seconds to ‘Get Ready.’
Ten to 12 seconds is a common response time to a Ready command during firing squad practice on the firing line during classes. That’s a luxury of time we will seldom have prior to a criminal attack. Often people will look around to see what others are doing before Getting Ready. When a criminal comes for you, others will seldom even notice, much do anything to give you an Alert.
Get Ready is actually what Jeff Cooper’s Color Codes are about. They describe a state of mental readiness to act.
Mental condition comes first and can be followed by increasing our physical Readiness status.
- Ready positions worth practicing
- Hands in front
- Hand on gun
- Transition from OC (OC canister at arm’s length)
- Low Ready
When is Low Ready appropriate? Avoiding Aggravated Assault charges is just as important as avoiding the assault itself. Either can change our lives forever. A good guideline comes from the Los Angeles POlice Department.
What are we capable of versus what are we likely to do?
John Johnston of Citizens Defense Research and I have been discussing this topic in relation to standards in a class. He and I are both believers in having standards and being able to demonstrate competent execution of those standards. Being able to demonstrate means both the instructor and the client.
One of the things I do in private sessions is to have the client take a hostage rescue shot. The target is a complete head next to and not obscured by the hostage head. Only one shot is allowed. The client gets to pick the distance. Most clients, even competent shooters, will close to 3 yards (9 feet) or less. That’s always interesting because the boundary between the near and far phases of Social Space in proxemics is 7 feet for North Americans.
Our technical capabilities are limited by what is within our own heads. What we think we can do represents ‘likely,’ regardless of what we’re actually capable of.
As Ken Hackathorn has said for many years:
You are unlikely to do something in a stressful situation that you’re not reasonably sure you can do competently.
The real value of training and practice isn’t gaining technical competence, it’s achieving confidence in your abilities.
If you are interested in bringing your Strategies, Tactics, and Options for Personal Protection to a higher level, please subscribe to my Patreon account for $5 per month. It’s an investment in yourself. https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor
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There is still considerable disagreement about the utility of the Tactical Reload. However, whether it has utility or not, it doesn’t have to be a clumsy technique. This is how the Tactical Reload is taught at the elite Rogers Shooting School and Dodd & Associates.
The magazines are handled by the thumb, forefinger, and middle finger. For visual clarity in this photo essay, the partially depleted magazine is depicted by an empty stainless magazine and the full replacement magazine by a blue magazine with a dummy round on top.
- Draw the reload magazine as usual, forefinger along the front.
- Slip the forefinger down the magazine so the full magazine is held between the forefinger and middle finger. This leaves the thumb and forefinger available to catch the partially depleted magazine.
- Eject the partial magazine between the thumb and forefinger and catch it.
- Insert the full magazine, which is held between the forefinger and middle finger, into the pistol.
- Stow the partial magazine in a pocket, pouch, or your belt.
This method uses the hand’s two most dexterous digits, the thumb and forefinger, to catch the partially depleted magazine. Using the hand’s most dexterous digits makes it simple to handle even double column magazines.