Any tool will do if you will do

Retro posts bring to mind how often the same issues and the same interpretations arise. In this case, someone referenced my post about How many rounds to carry. https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/how-many-rounds-to-carry/

A comment referenced Tom Givens’ statement “I have never met someone, who has been in a gunfight, tell me they wish they’d had a lot less ammunition”.

My reply to that is something else Tom often says.

“It’s not how much you last practiced, it’s when you last practiced.”

To that, I would add “And how you last practiced and what you got out of it.” It’s easy to pick out one snippet of someone’s philosophy because it fits your purposes and ignore other integral parts of the philosophy. Even if you can’t get to range three times a week, can you spare five minutes those three days to do five draws, five aimed trigger presses with two hands, five with your dominant hand, and five with your support hand? If you can’t be bothered to expend fifteen minutes a week in dry practice, two extra magazines on your person are most likely meaningless.

Another way of looking at it is that it’s not the ammunition on your body that will save your life, it’s the ammunition that you’ve fired in practice that will save you. This is a corollary to something that’s taught in survival training; “It’s not the water in your canteen that will save your life, it’s the water in your body.”

I wish I hadn’t practiced my shooting so much said no one ever.

If you get the ‘go signal,’ you will find that your confidence in your own capabilities is far more important than your confidence in your tools. I am reminded of the police officer who got into a gunfight and had to tell himself “Hey, I need to … shoot better.” Shooting better solved the problem not expending more ammo fruitlessly. But then he drew the wrong lesson and started to carry 133 rounds. I don’t know if he decided to start practicing more and making his practice more meaningful, too. I certainly hope so.

The Miami Massacre is probably the most researched gunfight in history. One of the things that gets glossed over in the analyses was the solution. Ed Mireles pulled out his six shot revolver, used the front sight to aim at his targets, pressed the trigger smoothly, and made six hits that killed Platt and Matix. Ed’s draw was probably not sub-one second, either, but it was fast enough.

The Comparative Standards I’ve been writing about are a good example of “Know your capabilities.”

0824 results

  • What is your gun’s zero at 25 yards?
  • What is your ability to hit the -1 zone at that distance?
  • What exactly does your front sight look like at that distance?
  • How smoothly do you have to press the trigger to make that hit?
  • Can you hit the -0 zone (thoracic cavity above the diaphragm) unerringly at 15 yards and in?

I regularly gather metrics about the number of people who are interested in getting a status report of their capability with the handgun they own or carry. The number is extremely small. People would rather place their faith in ‘firepower.’ That’s an incredible mistake because when the firepower is gone, you’ve got nothing left. Your capabilities, if you have them, will solve the problem before your ammo load, whatever it may be, is exhausted. That’s the endgame we’re looking for; solving the problem before our ammunition is gone.

If you would like to purchase my eBook Concealed Carry Skills and Drills, the link to the downloadable ebook is here. http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com One of the metrics I gather is how many people are willing to spend the price of a box of ammo to get their personal status report and then increase their personal capability. As I said, it’s not many. Ninety-nine and 44/100ths percent are perfectly comfortable with carrying two spare magazines instead.

Comparative Standards – Double Action Autos

I enjoyed the #wheelgunwednesday Comparative Standards exercise enough to repeat it. This time the test was with Double Action autoloaders. Five different autos, three Double Action Only and two Traditional Double Action were the test subjects. Four were 9mm and one was a .22.

  • SCCY CPX-2
  • Sig P250
  • Smith & Wesson 6906
  • Beretta Centurion 92D
  • Walther P22 (Remington Golden Bullet bulk ammo)

All the guns were similarly sized enough that I used the same Mister Softy holster for all of them. The Mister Softy is interesting in that the gun sits low enough in the pants that a full firing grip can’t be gained in the holster. I didn’t notice the lack of a full firing grip was an impediment. The need for a full firing grip in an AIWB holster is another one of the industry maxims I have doubts about. Maybe I just have clever hands.

mr softy sq

I used the same protocols for shooting and scoring as last time so I won’t reiterate them.

Range setup

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#Wheelgunwednesday – Comparative Standards

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

The breakdown:

  • 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.

Range setup

Range setup

65 sq

Model 65

642 sq

Model 642-2

LCR sq

Ruger LCR

SD9VE sq

SD9VE

PX4 sq

Beretta PX4 Storm Compact

43C sq

Model 43C

Here’s how the results came out.

results pic

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

Jacks & Saps and Timing – Part I

Jacks & Saps is a class taught by Larry Lindenman of Point Driven Training.   It was hosted in the Atlanta area on August 18 and 19, as two separate one day classes, by The Complete Combatant.

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.

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Decisions and Drawstrokes – What’s really important?

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.

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Holster retention systems and sloppy research

Still a great deal of confusion and misinformation about this topic floating around.

tacticalprofessor

A few people drink from the fountain of knowledge but most only gargle.

Gun Digest recently published an online article about holster retention systems. The article begins by referencing Safariland’s retention holster rating system as being the standard. Unfortunately, the author, Corey Graff, should have done a little research and contacted Safariland about their retention rating system before writing about it.

That system, devised by Bill Rogers, the inventor of the modern security holster, has nothing to do with the number of mechanisms that the holster has. Corey’s interpretation is a common misconception in the industry. Safariland’s system is based on a series of hands-on performance tests in which the holster is physically attacked and tested. The holster must pass, in sequential order, each test to achieve a given level of rating. A holster can have several mechanisms on it and still not achieve any rating at all…

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Circumstances of a murder

In lieu of #wheelgunwednesday, an interesting and sad case study came up on Facebook. It is a personal experience and something I have never forgotten.

While I was still living in Chicargo, I often took public transit, especially the Elevated trains. One Sunday morning, I was going to play a softball game. However, the POlice had closed the Elevated station. A woman had been raped and murdered and a would-be rescuer stabbed within an inch of his life at 10AM on an otherwise beautiful Sunday morning on the platform.

A rare second cup of coffee kept me out of that situation. I never have a second cup. To this day, I still wonder if I could have done a hip throw (a Hand to Gland Combat technique) on the criminal onto the third rail. Or maybe I would have ended up like the would be rescuer. He was a runner; the paper said if he hadn’t been in such great shape he would have died too.

My Guardian Angel was looking out for me, as is often the case.

The circumstances of the incident were as follows:

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A Clarification

Brian Hill of The Complete Combatant likes to call me ‘The Clarifier.’ However, I apparently have slipped up on that. I received the following question today, via email.

“Comment: Is your “Concealed Carry Skills and Drills” ebook available and downloadable in PDF?”

Yes, it is.

The link to the ebook on my store is Concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

Clicking on the above link will take you to where the ebook can be purchased. A download link will then be sent to your email. Clicking on the download link will send the PDF of the book to you.

My other ebooks are available by clicking on this link. Claude Werner’s ebooks. The Flashlight practice session of Indoor Range Practice Sessions is available there for FREE because I believe every gunowner should have some familiarity with how to use a flashlight in conjunction with their pistol. It could prevent the Negative Outcome tragedy of shooting a family member or someone else who shouldn’t be shot.

I hope that clarifies things.

 

Shooting the S&W SD9VE

I like inexpensive pistols. Not everyone can afford ‘mid-priced’ ($500-700) pistols, so I like to give those folks some options. Over a year ago, I picked up a S&W SD9VE on sale for about $300. It proved serviceable and reliable but the trigger was a little heavy. It wasn’t unmanageable but it was hard to shoot to the level I like to with it. The three dot sights had to go, so I blacked out the rear dots with a black marker and painted the front sight orange.

Shortly afterward, Apex Tactical Specialties was selling their upgrade kit at the NRA Annual Meeting for half price, so I bought it. It consists of several replacement springs and an ‘Action Enhancement Trigger.’ I didn’t care much for the hinged trigger on the gun, so I bought the kit. After installing just the spring kit, the trigger pull became noticeably easier to use. It lightened up enough that I didn’t even install the trigger.

SD9VE No flash 1

Yesterday, I decided to install the trigger also. It is a Glock® style trigger with a safety bar that also reduces the length of travel and pull weight. Contrary to what the common taters on the Apex YouTube installation videos said, it was easy to install and didn’t mess up my gun. Some people have no mechanical aptitude and simply should not work on mechanical devices more complicated than a ball point pen, much less firearms kept for personal protection.

Another interesting factoid I discovered was that the SD9VE is actually the Glock 19 sized pistol that people have been clamoring for S&W to make for as long as I can remember. When I put the two pistols side by side, it was obvious they were in the same size class.

SD9VE and G19

To test out what I could do with it, today I shot the IDPA 5×5 Classifier. The Classifier is a simple yet challenging test of equipment and shooter. It is only 25 rounds, requires only one target, and can be set up and shot in less than five minutes. It’s a little difficult for newer shooters, so I didn’t include it in Concealed Carry Skills and Drills.

I was able to shoot an overall score of 23.37 (3 points down), which put me squarely in the middle of Expert classification. Considering how little centerfire ammunition I’ve shot in the past few months, I think that gives a good indication of the pistol’s potential.

5x5 classifier

My gun has fired close to 1,000 rounds without a malfunction, so it has proven to be very reliable. Overall, this is a very underrated pistol. I’m looking forward to putting more rounds through it.

Note that I bought the pistol and the upgrade kit with my own money. I get no promotional consideration for writing about it, I just like the gun.

The Origin and Evolution of Dot Torture

Dot Torture is a well known practice regimen among skilled shooters. Its origins and evolution are less well known, however.

DT target pic

Shooting on dot targets, i.e., small filled in circles from 1.25 to 5.54 inches in diameter, as a speed shooting training and practice exercise, was originated by John Shaw, a World Champion shooter, in the early 1980s. In his book, You Can’t Miss: The Guide to Combat Pistol Shooting, he explains the training standard he established for his students. Until they could consistently hit the black bullseye (5.54 inches) of an NRA B-8 bullseye target from the holster in two seconds at seven yards, he didn’t allow them to move on to more advanced drills.

NRA B-8

Shaw’s school, the Mid-South Institute of Self-Defense Shooting evolved the concept of dot shooting to a high level. Combined with shooting at steel targets, as originated by Bill Rogers, founder of the elite Rogers Shooting School, dot shooting became a standard component used in the practice regimens of knowledgeable shooters who aspired to a higher level of competency.

The concept of dot shooting was so effective at teaching shooters to hit the target, it quickly became part of military counter-terrorist pistol training. The US Army Special Forces developed a course called ‘Special Operations Training’ [SOT] during the 1980s to train its personnel to use the 1911 pistol at a level not seen before that time in the military.

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