Gun instructors: We’re teaching you how to defend your life with a gun, any gun. It’s not the arrow, it’s the Indian. There is no such thing as a dangerous weapon, there are only dangerous men*.
Also gun instructors: You are a fool if you recommend that your students carry a pistol in .380 or a smaller caliber.
So which is it? Are the basic skills of marksmanship and accurate fire under stressful situations applicable to any handgun, or should you skip all that folderol and just get a Glock 19?
Me? I say, if you train with a pocket .380 and you know what it can and can’t do because of your training, go ahead and carry it with confidence.
That statement assumes a bunch of things, though:
- That people who own pocket guns don’t treat them as a talisman of self-protection, but rather have the desire to seek out training.
- That trainers are capable of teaching how to properly use pocket guns.
- That people are aware of drills and quals specifically set up for backup guns (Chuck Haggard ran us through the Atlanta PD Backup Gun qual at TacCon, and there’s one for Georgia State Troopers as well).
- Mostly importantly, that trainers realize they are not training student to be exactly like themselves, but rather, they are training students who can adapt their techniques to their own lifestyle. If your methods work only for you, you are not training students, your are raising up disciples.
How many of the assumptions we make about what makes an “effective” carry pistol are based on what is actually effective, and how many of those assumptions are based on what we ourselves are comfortable with and designate as being a minimum requirement for our classes?
Now, to be fair, there is a BIG logistical element at play here. Speaking as someone who regularly takes a 9mm Shield to training classes, it kinda sucks having to swap out mags twice as often as a Glock 17 user, and it only gets worse when I train with my LCP. Also, having just put 1600+ rounds through an LCP and watching its reliability FLY downhill after round 500 or so, they’re just not meant for, say, a Gunsite 250.
But that doesn’t meant that people who own them can’t be trained to a point where they can draw and hit a target at self-defense distances in a reasonable amount of time.
It just means ain’t nobody going to Rogers with an LCP.
* Or women. Or whatever.