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.
Part I of this review gave an overall view of the Jacks and Saps class. Some of the deeper lessons from the class are worthy of further discussion.
Multidisciplinary training (unarmed combat, impact tools, and firearms) doesn’t just mean learning to use different tools and techniques, it also means understanding the overlap of the different disciplines’ concepts. By understanding the overlap, we can reinforce the concepts and lessons of one discipline and apply it to others. Key Concepts in the Jacks and Saps class were Timing, Timing Errors, and Timing Windows. These have parallels in firearms training and practice, as well.
The class objective was described as a:
Small Impact Weapons Skills seminar is designed for people looking for a tool based less than lethal response to criminal attack.
There were ten clients, eight male and two female, on Sunday. They were the overflow from a Sold Out class of 20 clients on Saturday. Since Impact Tools are not regulated in Georgia, it was a very popular class. Note that Impact Tools are not legal to carry in all States even when Licensed to carry a pistol. This makes little sense but logic rarely applies to the law. Readers are advised to be familiar with the laws of their own State and any State they may travel to.
For those unfamiliar, Jacks and Saps are small impact tools [weapons] that are pocket sized. Although ubiquitous in police work at one time, they are now seldom used. Bulkier and less effective collapsible batons have become the standard impact weapons for Law Enforcement now.
John Johnston of Ballistic Radio and I spoke on the air last weekend about Threat Management.
Threat Management is a topic that is woefully under-represented in most people’s skill set. Going to the range occasionally only helps develop the shooting skills. In contrast, how much time do folks spend on the skills that lead to ‘non-shooting?’ A short list would include, but is not limited to:
STOP! Don’t come any closer!
Learning and practicing those skills can help us keep a situation under control before shooting and hopefully prevent a shooting at all.
Here’s the permalink to the interview. http://content.blubrry.com/ballisticradio/140824_BALLISTICS.mp3
The second class I attended at Paul-E-Palooza 2 was OC and “less-lethal” for CCW folks given by Lt. Chuck Haggard of the Topeka Police Department. There was a little humor about the class title because to many attendees, ‘OC’ means Open Carry rather than Oleoresin Capsicum. As a result Chuck had to explain he was talking about pepper spray.
Chuck has extensive training and experience with pepper spray. He is a National instructor for the National Law Enforcement Training Center and an Adjunct instructor for Strategos International. He has also been featured as a guest on Ballistic Radio. Chuck stated that he has been sprayed with OC about 60 times, in the training context, and has sprayed somewhere around 1000 people. Most of his sprayees are Police Cadets since his department has a mandatory exposure to OC policy for its officers.
I wanted to take the class because I am a firm believer in carrying what I call ‘Intermediate Force Options.’ Pepper spray is one of those weapons that give us a response to predatory behavior not requiring deadly force. As I state in all my classes “Lacking an intermediate force option while you are armed with a firearm implies that all you are willing to do to protect yourself is kill someone.” That’s not a position most reasonable people would be comfortable in taking, given a little bit of thought.
The class began with a lecture including a review of OC history, products, training and best practices. It then moved on to aspects people need to know for effective use, carry and deployment. Once the lecture was completed, the class moved into the open for practical application with inert trainers. No live weapons, ammo or OC were allowed in the practical exercises. Dummy guns and inert pepper spray canisters, which sprayed water only, were furnished. Eye protection was also furnished to the students.
Once again, as at the Rangemaster Tactical Conference, I had the distinct honor and pleasure of beginning the demonstrations by spraying Chuck in the face with an inert container. We demonstrated two scenarios. In the first, Chuck began to encroach on my personal space while I attempted verbal dissuasion. When he continued to advance, I gave him a good dose and then quickly moved away while he simulated remembering a previous appointment. In the second scenario, after I sprayed him, he became irate and threatened me with a training knife. At that point, I transitioned to my dummy gun and gave him a good cowboy “Pow, pow, pow” while maneuvering away.
The second scenario was especially interesting for me because I ended up with the pepper spray container in my left hand and my dummy pistol in my right. I shot one handed while maneuvering away from him. I’m not sure how things ended up that way because I started with the can in my right hand. I’m curious whether I transferred the can initially or if I did a ‘Border Shift’ with the can when I started to draw my pistol. I do remember seeing my sights while I was shooting. My dummy pistol has a rear sight notch cut in it because I cannot abide a pistol without sights, even a dummy pistol.
After our demonstrations, the students then split up into two groups. Initially, one group played the predator while the other played the role of the defender. Then the groups switched roles. The students enacted both the non-lethal and lethal scenarios while spraying each other. The class concluded with a critique of spraying and maneuvering.
I don’t practice as much as I would like with my personal OC, a Zombie Spitfire from Sabre. The class gave me a little tuneup, as well as some interesting background on the evolution of pepper spray as an Intermediate Force Option.