We can use our time at home productively during the Beer Plague by doing some dry practice. Here’s a regimen for snub revolvers that’s quick and useful. It’s derived from the LAPD Back Up Firearm Qualification Course. There are two targets at 3 yards.
From a concealed holster, using two hands, draw and snap twice on the right target, twice on the left target, then one snap on the right head.
From a concealed holster, using two hands, draw and snap twice on the left target, twice on the right target, then one snap on the left head.
From a concealed holster, using the Primary hand only, draw and snap twice on the right target, twice on the left target, then one snap on the right head.
From a concealed holster, using the Primary hand only, draw and snap twice on the left target, twice on the right target, then one snap on the left head.
From Low Ready, using the Support hand only, snap twice on the right target, twice on the left target, then one snap on the right head.
From Low Ready, using the Support hand only, snap twice on the left target, twice on the right target, then one snap on the left head.
You can use fired cases as snap caps to protect the hammer nose (firing pin). Marking the case head with a black Sharpie provides a visual indicator that the case is a snap cap and not a wadcutter. Having a specific container for them keeps them easily accessible.
Personal Performance – May 3, 2020 (Dahlonega, Georgia)
$99 class fee, payable in advance. $20 range fee, payable day of class.
This Course is designed to give clients a clear measure of where their skills are at and what they need to do to improve their current skill level. It is based on the NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program and all shooters will receive NRA awards, based on their achievement during the Course. Shooters do not need to be NRA members to receive their awards. Clients will receive a take home program to maintain and improve the skills exercised during the Course.
The Course is taught in conjunction with Brian and Shelley Hill of The Complete Combatant.
To register, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/may-2020-personal-performance-tickets-86377997917
Pocket Pistol 101 and Strategies, Tactics, and Options for Personal Protection (A weekend with the Tactical Professor) – May 30 – 31, 2020 (Weatherford, Texas near Forth Worth)
Join us for two full days of practical skill development, theoretical concepts, and realistic application of both skill and theory to Personal Protection Problem Solving with Claude Werner, AKA “The Tactical Professor”. All instruction is based on twenty years of research and analysis of over 5,000 actual incidents involving Armed Citizens rather than the Police.
Pocket Pistol 101 (Day One): Learn the skills needed to effectively use SMALL handguns for Personal Protection. Pocket Pistols, such as snubnose revolvers and .380 and small 9mm autoloaders, have manuals of arms and performance limitations that differ significantly from service-size handguns. They are very frequently carried for Personal Protection but often not trained with. This course is designed to teach students proven gunhandling techniques unique to Pocket Rockets, increase the students’ understanding of the shooting characteristics associated with handguns that are smaller, shorter, lighter, and often equipped with sub-optimal sights, and how to enhance their ability to make timely and accurate hits. Both firing line drills and scenario-based exercises (NOTE: Man v. Man Drills) are used as skill builders in the course.
Strategy, Tactics, and Options for Personal Protection (STOPP) (Day Two – Morning): This classroom segment focuses on helping clients define the Strategies, Options, and Tactics that are appropriate for them personally in the area of Personal Protection. By defining personal Strategies and being aware of possible Options, the Tactics appropriate to a person’s goals and lifestyle can be chosen. These are unique to each person and no one size fits all. Being aware of a range of possibilities in advance of criminal encounters helps the client avoid Serious Mistakes and achieve Positive Outcomes. All clients taking the class will receive a copy of the book Serious Mistakes and Negative Outcomes by the Tactical Professor.
Scenario Based Live Fire Exercises (Day Two – Afternoon): The ability to perform effectively on an individual basis is a fundamental aspect of Personal Protection. Each client will have the opportunity to individually examine their performance envelope in re-creations of actual incidents that involved Armed Citizens. The re-creations will mirror the conditions and difficulties that Armed Citizens face when protecting themselves and their families from the criminal element.
Revolver Operator Course – July 11, 2020 (Dahlonega, Georgia)
$149 class fee, payable in advance. $20 range fee
Small revolvers are often carried for Personal Protection. However, their size and light weight make training and practice difficult. This class uses service size revolvers as the principal training tools for learning the general principles of trigger manipulation, reloading, and gunhandling with revolvers.
After learning the general principles for Revolver Operators with service revolvers, small revolvers will be introduced into the curriculum. The differences between using service revolvers and small revolvers will be explained and practiced. An evaluation test will be shot at the end of the course to allow clients to establish a baseline for their own future performance evaluations. Clients will be given a handbook to guide their practice efforts after the course.
To register: email email@example.com You will be invoiced for the class fee. Once the payment is received, your spot is reserved. The range fee will be collected in cash the day of the class.
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.
If you can’t see the sights on your snub, you can’t use them. While there are some ways gunsmiths can put better sights on a snub, careful application of paint and perhaps Magic Marker can go a long way to improving your ability to see the sights. Most snubs’ sights are not of a color to contrast against the target. The lack of contrast makes it difficult to pick up a quick visual reference. Fire trucks and school buses aren’t painted blue or silver for a reason. Silver generates glare easily and blue doesn’t contrast against a dark target nor in limited visibility.
Colored nail polish or paint is an old trick to increase the visibility of the front sight. If you paint the sight first with white paint as an undercoating, the color will stand out much better. Degrease the sight before applying paint to ensure the paint sticks. Let the white paint cure completely and then apply the color paint over the white.
First in a series about ‘Running the Snub.’
In a discussion of revolver reloading techniques on my 1000 Days of Dryfire Facebook group, I posted a video of myself shooting the Alabama State IDPA Championship with a snub revolver.
The video generated the following question, which I think is worth some discussion and explanation.
Claude, I watched your video, and to me, you display amazing recoil management – the gun hardly moves. I was under the impression that snubbies are especially hard to shoot and control, particularly in this skill area. Can you share what you are doing to control recoil so well? Maybe details on how you grip the gun, and what kind of load you are firing?
Let’s deal with the simple questions first. I was shooting a two inch K frame at the Championship, which weighs almost twice what an Airweight J Frame does. That has some effect on the recoil management. The load I was using was my IDPA handload, which is ballistically equivalent to 158 grain Round Nose Lead standard pressure. I prefer not to use lead bullets so my load used a plated bullet.
The next issue to deal with is “snubbies are especially hard to shoot and control.” That’s been ‘common knowledge’ among the shooting community for as long as I can remember but how true is it? Like many other aspects of ‘common knowledge’ among gun industry common taters, I’m skeptical about that. So, I decided to do a little more Comparative Testing.
The test I chose was 5^4 (5 rounds in no more than 5 seconds at 5 yards into a 5 inch or less group). The 5^4 protocol was originally developed by Gila Hayes of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network for her book, Effective Defense: The Woman, the Plan, the Gun and subsequent later editions. .
The Editor of a publication I occasionally write for asked me to participate in a project about comparing different handguns. Being the revolver guy I am, he asked me for some input about how wheelguns fared. His concept is:
[R]each an objective: identifying a short (20-rounds) base of standards for defense handguns to (1) compare similar format guns, one to another, (2) compare formats of handguns (small, single stack or subcompact), (3) “shoot out” duty/defense ammo for replacement while evaluating personal skills, (4) yet another “cold course” of fire to identify skills areas that need attention.
This is the Course of Fire he developed.
- Basis: 3-second strings
- Lots of draws
- Few reloads (on the clock)
- Limited Vickers: use a target, feature .5 second added for 1-down; shortest time “wins.”
- 25 yards – singles from holster – 5x – 5 rounds
- 15 yards – single from holster – 1x
- single from guard – 2 x — 3 rounds
- 10 yards – Pair from holster – 1x 2 – rounds
- 7 yards – Failure from holster – 1x – 3 rounds
- 5 yards – Pair SHO from holster – 1 x – 2 rounds
- Pair WHO from guard – 1x — 2 rounds
- from holster, 1-Reload-1 – 1 x – 2 rounds
- from holster, 1 head – 1 x – 1 round
Total: 20 rounds
- Draws – 7
- From ‘ready’ (guard) – 3
- Singles – 6, one to ‘brain housing group’
- Weak Hand Only – 2, Strong Hand Only – 2
- Shots to smaller target – 2; one is transition from larger target.
- Pairs – 4
- Reload – 1 (under time)
All in a 20 round box of ammo.
It’s an interesting concept, so I shot it with four different revolvers and two autoloaders.
- Smith & Wesson Model 65 – one of my favorite wheelguns and what I shot at the 2018 Rangemaster Tactical Conference
- Smith & Wesson Model 642– perhaps the most ubiquitous revolver encountered today
- Ruger LCR – another commonly carried wheelgun
- Smith & Wesson SD9VE
- Beretta PX4 Storm Compact, modified to G configuration
- Smith & Wesson 43C – a nice little .22 snub revolver
All were shot from Appendix Inside the Waistband carry except the SD9VE. The centerfire revolvers were reloaded using a speedloader carried in a centerline carrier. The 43C was reloaded using a QuikStrip carried in the watch pocket of my jeans. I used Remington Golden Bullet bulk ammo in the 525 round box for the 43C. Despite it having a 9 pound mainspring, which I have been told will get me ‘kilt in da streetz,’ there were no Failures to Fire.
We were free to use any target we wanted, so I used the printable target from my ebook Concealed Carry Skills and Drills. Per his instructions, the scoring was Vickers Count with ½ second added per point down. I used the Circle as the -0, the paper target as -1, and the balance of an IDPA target backer as -3.
An interesting aspect of the Course is that every shot or two is scored individually. This involves a lot of walking, especially for the five shots at 25 yards but gives a lot of feedback about the efficacy of one’s shooting. In the spirit of the analysis, I marked the target at every distance change to keep track of where the bullets were hitting.
Here’s how the results came out.
It’s a demanding benchmark analysis. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of the other testers.
If you would like to purchase Concealed Carry Skills and Drills, the link to the downloadable ebook is here. http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com
A recent discussion about a man unintentionally shooting his stepson https://www.panews.com/2018/08/14/man-accidentally-shoots-stepson-12-after-meteor-watching/ got me to wondering “How fast is too fast?” A little research was in order, so I did two experiments. One was a decisional drill that’s an evolution of the Thinking Drills in my Concealed Carry Skills and Drills ebook. The other was a comparison of the times between Cooper’s original Five Count drawstroke and the Four Count drawstroke it has evolved into.
Having acquired a Ruger LCR, I decided to put it to the test. Once again the timer and the target tell an interesting story. To make the day a good #wheelgunwednesday, I took four revolvers out; Ruger LCR, S&W 642-2 Airweight J Frame, S&W Model 36-1 (3 inch), and my EDC S&W 43C. The LCR had a Rogers Enhanced LCR stock, the 642-2 wore Sile rubber stocks, the 36-1 had Pachmayr Compac stocks, and the 43C used the standard factory boot grip. Ammunition for the .38s was Tula steel case and for the 43C, CCI Stingers just as I load it for carry.
The test I used for the comparison was my 5^5 drill; five shots in five seconds at five yards into a five inch circle five times in a row. I made up a target for the test so that I could record the times and results on one sheet. The circle is a CD, so it is actually 4.75 inches in diameter, not 5 inches. The markers bleed through and I shoot the back to reduce visual confusion. After shooting each run, I wrote the time on the target.
The very first shots confirmed something I’ve said for a long time; ‘feel’ is utterly irrelevant until the shooting starts. Even then, it needs to be tempered by measurement. The Rogers stock feels really good to handle but during the first string my immediate thought was “Whoa, this thing kicks!” I shot a second string with the 642-2 with the Sile rubber stocks as a comparison and found the recoil much less unpleasant.
For a long time, I’ve wanted to do a comparison of two very popular pocket pistols; the Airweight J Frame and the Ruger LCP. This #wheelgunwednesday, I made it happen. In this case, I used a S&W 642-2 for the Airweight.
The test I used for the comparison was the Nevada Concealed Firearms Permit Qualification Course. I used this as the graduation exercise in my Snub Nose Revolver Classes many times. It’s still one of my favorite CCW qualification courses. The course goes as follows:
The humanoid target, B27 or B21 or equivalent as determined by the firearm instructor shall be utilized.
For 6 shot or higher capacity:
3 yards 6 rounds No time limit Freestyle
5 yards 12 rounds No time limit Freestyle
7 yards 12 rounds No time limit Freestyle
For 5 shot or lower capacity:
3 yards 5 rounds No time limit Freestyle
5 yards 10 rounds No time limit Freestyle
7 yards 10 rounds No time limit Freestyle
A total of 30 rounds for 6 shot or larger capacity, 25 rounds for 5 shot capacity must be fired. A 70% minimum (18/25, 21/30) must be scored to pass.
Notice that as with the majority of State Qualification Courses for Private Citizens, drawing from the holster is not required. Nevada is not one of the States that forbid drawing from the holster, so I include a little holster work.
The way I did the test was to:
- Use the -1 zone of the IDPA target. Then, I fold the bottom tapered part up behind the target. This gives an area approximating the FBI QIT target, which I like.
- Shoot 25 rounds with both guns, even though the LCP would fall into the ‘6 shot of higher capacity’ category. This gives an apples to applies comparison of the two guns.
- Conduct the first Stage as five individual one shot draws.
- Do the second and third stages as two individual strings of five shots each.
- Carry the 642-2 in an AIWB holster, concealed under a polo shirt.
- Carry the LCP in a pocket holster.
- Start the draws with hand on gun.
- Start the Five shot strings with the gun at Low Ready, aimed below the base of the target.
In the end, I was able to achieve slightly better results with the 642-2 (19.87 seconds) than with the LCP (20.71 seconds). I’m not sure a 4% difference is worth writing home to Mom about, though.
Both guns were mostly stock. The front sights on both are painted with Fluorescent Orange paint. The LCP has a Hogue Hybrid Handall installed. This makes the gun much more pleasant to shoot and I highly recommend it. The 642-2 wears Sile rubber stocks, which are no longer made, unfortunately. No special trigger work has been done on either, other than a fair amount of dry practice.
In the end, either of these in your pocket will provide more personal protection than some big honking clunky autoloader that gets left home. What’s the best concealed carry handgun? The one you have on you.
The timer and the target sometimes tell interesting and unexpected tales. A long held opinion is that a longer barrel is easier to shoot, both in terms of accuracy and shot to shot recovery, than a shorter barrel. For #wheelgunwednesday, I decided to put this theory to the test. Several different revolvers of varying frame sizes, weights, and barrel lengths were used to shoot a standard drill and compare results.
Justin Dyal wrote an article for SWAT Magazine about a drill he created called Five-Yard Roundup. It was used as the semi-final test at the Rangemaster 2018 Tactical Conference. Especially in the context of snub revolvers, it’s a good test of skills that may be required for personal protection.