Here’s the first Hump Day Reading list of November, and it’s got some gems: Greg Ellifritz talks about hardware vs. software; Claude Werner has a great detailed examination of the most efficient way to grasp an autoloading pistol; some more on the need to train in NOT shooting; Marty Hayes talks about the right to remain silent and what it means for your legal defense; an article about avoiding fads in carry gear; and Ian McCollum touches off a really BIG blackpowder rifle!
Mindset vs. Hardware
On his Active Response Training blog, Greg Ellifritz relays the story of a fellow whose emphasis on hardware greatly overshadowed his skill with software — and it could have been to his detriment. I’ve run into lots of similar instances in my days; I can recall going to “tactical” and IDPA-type matches where some competitors would arrive with their “carry” guns in cases or pistol rugs. They didn’t actually carry their carry guns, the matches simply offered them another opportunity to get out and shoot. Now don’t get me wrong — there’s nothing inherently bad with shooting as a recreational activity! However, there is risk in keeping a gun for self defense (whether you carry it or keep it as a home defense tool) and not training/practicing with it in the context you expect to use it. If you’re into gear more than training, this article may make you just a little uncomfortable!
Properly gripping an autoloading pistol
Claude Werner was, for many years, the chief instructor at the Rogers Shooting School. He’s a diagnostician par excellence, and in this article he goes into great detail about the most efficient way to grasp an autoloading pistol. One of the weak points I see in a lot of my students is insufficient rotation in the support hand wrist; without that strong downward angle, a great deal of the benefit of the thumbs-forward grasp is lost. When I run into that problem I often tell the student to push their support thumb further toward the muzzle, which usually corrects the position. Another way of thinking about is is to put the heel of the palm into the open area on the grip; so many students put the base of their thumb there, which leads to the situation Claude describes. However you choose to explain it, I think you’ll like his illustration of the resulting cant of the properly placed support hand!
Zen and the Art of Not Shooting
A while back I wrote an article about the need to have drills in which shooting is not a proper response. In reality a large number of defensive gun uses do not require a shot to be fired, and as Claude Werner has pointed out his cases studies suggest that many self defense problems are created by shooting when it’s not appropriate, as opposed to not shooting well enough. The implication is that once we’ve developed basic shooting skills in our students, it’s time to teach them to process information which leads them to a decision — and that decision must occasionally be “don’t shoot”. Defensive Daddy over at the Growing Up Guns site delves into this discussion and gives some very good perspective. Definitely worth reading!
Concealed Carry and the Right to Remain Silent
One of the typically vitriolic topics on any gun blog (other than Glock vs 1911 or 9mm vs .45ACP, of course) is what you should do after a defensive shooting. What should you say to responding police? There are always those who steadfastly insist that you not say anything to responding officers other than demanding to speak with an attorney. This advice usually comes from criminal defense attorneys, who are used to defending guilty people and whose opinions are based on trying to keep people who already have records out of prison. The law-abiding person who defends himself or his loved ones against a criminal attack is in a very different position, and needs to learn how to be an advocate for his own defense — and that starts when the police arrive on scene. Marty Hayes has been a very visible proponent of this point of view, and in this continuing series talks about the need to point out witnesses and evidence to the police so that they get the complete picture of your need to defend yourself.
Choosing Your EDC: Ditch the Latest Fad and Find What Works
Like anything else that people buy, concealed carry gear goes through fads and fashions. In days gone by those fads were fueled by gun magazines, but today YouTube “celebrities” drive much of the popularity of specific gear. This article over at ITS Tactical looks at the phenomenon of EDC fads and suggests a better way to pick your own best carry gear ensemble. Refreshing take on “tacti-fashion”.
Firing a 10-Bore Flintlock Rifle
Sometimes you just want to have some fun with guns, and there’s nothing wrong with that! Ian McCollum at Forgotten Weapons probably has more fun with guns than anyone I know (with the exception of the happiest man in the shooting business, Jerry Miculek.) He posted a video recently of him firing a 10-bore flintlock rifle. To give you some perspective, this uses a ball which is three-quarters of an inch in diameter and weighs 660 grains! With 200 grains of black powder it propels that basketball at 1585 feet per second, which translates to recoil. How much? You’ll have to watch the video!
– Grant Cunningham