Went on a family trip up to Orlando for my birthday over the weekend, so here’s some content I queued up for you all. Some of it written by me, so not.
An evidence-based approach to knife defence. I’m not the most-qualified guy to comment on this, but I found it interesting.
First Look: Savage B22 FLH. Really liked this little rifle. It’s a keeper.
Some really good advice on pocket pistols. When in doubt, go with a Failure To Stop Drill.
Five Skill Drills For The Indoor Range, because not everybody has access to a pistol bay.
Comparing an A Class vs C Class run on the same stage. I’m sucky and I know it.
I went to another one of Step By Step Gun Training’s Shoot N Scoot’s events last weekend to do two things: Shoot a bunch of qualifiers to gauge my progress and get them on record, and put more rounds through the Colt 1911. We’ll talk about that first thing at a later date, so let’s move on to the Colt.
One of the nice things about the Shoot N Scoots is that each weekend, the first two bays are set up identically to what was used the previous Thursday in the pistol matches they run there, so I get to compare my performance from one day to next. The matches are Louland are alway lightweight, run and gun affairs that are good skill builders and not too challenging and primarily use steel targets. Here’s the setup for Stage 2.
And here’s one of my runs with the Colt.
My time on that run was a skooch under 18 seconds, with three reloads. My time on that stage last Thursday using a Beretta APX and a 21 round mag (so no reloads)? 21.28 seconds. Yes, I missed a shot with the 1911 that the RO let slide in this run, but on my first run, I shot it 18.9 secs. So there.
So why the over two second difference between a softer-shooting 9mm with no reloads and the thump of .45ACP and three reloads?
- Familiarity. I’m at over 500 rounds with that 1911, and I’m starting to learn how to run it. I’ve just under 200 rounds with the Beretta. I know where things are set up on the Colt, but the Beretta is the first full-sized striker gun I’ve shot over a long period of time.
- Sights. The Colt’s fiber optic sights, while large, are nothing compared to the Beretta’s sights. There is literally no gap between the front sight and rear sight on the Beretta, making precise aiming a bit of a challenge. In addition to that, the Beretta uses three dot sights, a setup that just does not work well for me… Gimme fiber optics or Trijicon HD’s any day over three dots.
Colt Competition 2000 Round Challenge
Thanks to Lucky Gunner for providing the ammo for this test.
Jim Wilson had a nice little post about the importance of stories in the gun world. The problem is, it’s hard to tell good stories about Gun Culture 2.0. The stories that come out of Gun Culture 2.0 tend to revolve around preventative incidents, such as the times where a life was saved because of a defensive gun use.
Those are good stories and they definitely need to be told, but the defensive/competition world has no equivalent (yet) to the good ol’ hunting story, where it’s you and your friends and family going out into nature and something Hemingway-esque* ensues, and the story winds up being told thru a sepia filter and read aloud in Sam Elliot’s voice.
Those are good stories of happy times, and they reinforce what I’ve been saying for awhile now, that the very best day possible in Gun Culture 1.0 is a day spent outdoors that culminates in harvesting one of God’s creatures.
The very best day possible in Gun Culture 2.0? Nothing happens. You live your life as you normally would, because Gun Culture 2.0 is mostly about avoiding injury and death and there is just not a lot of good stories to be told about going to WalMart and nothing happening. Yes, there is still the competition element to the new gun culture that has a slightly different “best day,” but we’ll pick that up at a later date.
* Just not in a “Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber” sort of way.
A couple of interesting videos came across my Facebook feed last week. The first is from Saddle River Range, a very nice “guntry” club in Texas, showing off their new live-fire, virtual training system.
The second is Max Michel shooting the new Auto Target system by Action Target.
We are moving away from the “go to your booth, hang up your target, send it out, shoot it, bring it back” experience of the traditional indoor range into something that’s a little more stimulating, and that’s a very good thing indeed.
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.
Dear city folk: We know more about guns than you do. Signed, country folk.
P!ss off, country folk. Signed, me.
Ruger says “Bless your heart” to a bunch of nuns. Good for them.
I decided to go DA/SA before it was cool, but here’s Ernest Landgon to help explain why it’s useful. And cool.
We are constantly being judged by standards. We’ve had the idea that we need to achieve passing grades or better drilled into us since at least our first day of school, and that idea continues through our adult lives. My bonus at work is based in part on how much new business I bring in, and that number is a set amount known to me and my boss. Standardized drills and qualifications are important in firearms training because if you (God forbid) have to defend a life and go to court, pistol qualifications are admissible as evidence and are not subject to cross examination (how do you cross-examine a piece of paper?).
Also, even before it gets to court, if you can bamboozle the D.A. with a list of certifications and qualifications that prove that you know how to shoot (and shoot as well as an FBI Pistol Instructor), your chances of going to court get smaller and smaller.
Shoot a qual, and shoot it either on video or with a witness. Create a foundation for your ability to defend your life with your pistol, and see how you improve on that foundation.
John Corriea of Active Self Protection recently mentioned a couple of things that have been rattling around in my head for awhile*. First off is the ubiquity of reloading your gun when it comes to pistol drills and qualifications. Thanks to security camera footage and after-action reports, we know that the number of times an armed citizen has had to reload during a gunfight is pretty darn close to zero, and yet reloading on the clock is an element of oh so many drills and qualifications.
Maybe it’s time for that to change.
Secondly is the value of the sneaky draw. After watching 10,000 gunfights on video, John has seen a number of them that started when the armed civilian (who is usually in charge of if and when the violence will begin in an encounter with a bad guy) drew his gun surreptitiously from the concealment and used the advantage to surprise to come out ahead.
We spend oh so many hours on the range practicing our draw from concealment, shaving off bits of seconds so we can go from a 1.7 second draw to a 1.5 second draw.
But you know what’s faster than that? Having the gun in your hand when you need it, not in your holster. To the best of my knowledge (and correct me in the comments if I’m wrong), there is no one out there teaching how to do a sneaky draw from a holster as part of their pistol curriculum.
And maybe there should be.
* Heaven knows there’s a lot of room up there for them to rattle around in…