Your Hump Day Reading List for Dec 30, 2015

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For this last Hump Day List of 2015, Ian McCollum shows us what a real “mousegun” looks like; another Craigslist deal goes bad; what preparedness items to carry in your vehicle; attackers don’t always fit a profile; someone actually likes the SCAR rifle; Joshua Gideon talks about feeling safe; and Greg Ellifritz shows us the guns criminals actually carry.


Mousegun? More like ant-gun.

You’ve probably heard the term mousegun applied to many calibers: it’s generally said about the .25ACP and .32ACP, and some will even say that about the .380, but what would you call a pistol and cartridge that produces about 1/4 of the energy of even the lowly .25ACP? Well, Ian McCollum at Forgotten Weapons has a great video on the Erika, a micro-pistol made by an Austrian arms designer in the early days of autoloading pistol design. The gun may not be a great self defense tool, but you have to admire the workmanship on the tiny thing!


Another Craigslist deal goes bad — but for the right person

Craigslist robberies are getting more and more common, and from both sides of the buy-sell transaction. In this case, a couple showed up to buy a car and were met by two men who tried to rob them. This is a typical ploy: advertise something of value, something which a responding buyer would need a large amount of cash to purchase, and wait until the unsuspecting victim shows up. That’s what happened in this case, but when the victims defended themselves against drawn guns one of the would-be robbers ended up in the morgue and the other fleeing for his life. It’s worth noting that the victims did everything right: they used their guns to defend against a lethal threat; they called 9-1-1 themselves to report the shooting; and they stayed at the scene and waited for responding officers. If you use Craigslist (and who doesn’t?), be careful: meet in a public place (the parking lot of a staffed police department is a good choice); never go alone; make sure someone else knows where you’re going and what you’re doing; and trust your instincts — if something doesn’t look or feel right, leave. Of course you should also carry whatever defensive tools are allowed in your area and know how to use them against a surprise attack!


What’s in your vehicle kit? What — you don’t have one??

It’s winter time, and with it comes the prospect of vehicle breakdowns, impassable roads, and major traffic accidents. Sometimes it even means heading into the mountains for recreational activities like skiing and hunting, or just playing in the snow. In my area, we have to think about earthquakes and bridges becoming unusable. What happens if your vehicle gets stuck, for whatever reason, and you’re still a ways from home? That’s where a vehicle emergency kit comes in: it contains the things you need to survive either inside the vehicle, or if you have to hike home (or to the nearest cell signal.) This article at the Modern Survival Blog looks at one man’s kit, why he carries what he carries, and his rationale for having the kit in the first place. Personal security isn’t always about the gun: sometimes it’s about food, shelter, and your health. If you don’t have a car survival kit, isn’t it time you put one together?


Your attacker might not look like what you expect

This article at Bearing Arms contains a surveillance video from a light rail car in Jerusalem. Two boys, age 11 and 14, attack and stab a security guard; the guard was able to draw his gun and shoot one of the attackers, while other riders were able to subdue the second. There are some important lessons to be learned here: first, you’ll notice that the guard allowed himself to be distracted by his own boredom. This gave his attackers a perfect opportunity to put their plan into action. Situational awareness, as I’ve said many times, starts with managing your distractions! They also don’t look like threats; how many of you would look twice at a pair of youngsters and think about their ability to hurt you? Second, note how quickly the attack unfolds; they just got up and started stabbing. (Luckily for the guard, they weren’t very good or very aggressive; an aggressive individual armed with a knife in an enclosed space is a nightmare and very difficult to defend against. Are you prepared to deal with this kind of attack?) Finally, the guard seems to have been carrying his gun with an empty chamber, often called “Israeli carry”; note how long it took him to get the gun into a shooting condition after he drew it from his holster. If you’re carrying with an empty chamber, you’re at a phenomenal disadvantage — and, frankly, need better training than you have. (Note: this is not posted to debate the Israeli/Palestinian issues; any political comments along those lines will be immediately deleted.)


The SCAR gets some love

The FN SCAR (Special operations forces Combat Assault Rifle) seems to have been largely forgotten by the rush to embrace the AR-pattern rifles that dominate the market. Part of that is no doubt due to the lack of aftermarket accessories, because let’s face it — most of the fun of the AR is playing “boy Barbie” and buying all kinds of accessories for it! In this article at Guns & Tactics, they interview a fellow who is a huge fan of the SCAR and makes all kinds of accessories for them. If you’re tired of the AR world, maybe it’s time for you to play in the SCAR sandbox!


Feelings aren’t important. Reality is.

My colleague Joshua Gideon is a thoughtful fellow who writes the No Soft Targets blog, and he often posts some interesting ideas. In this article he looks at the idea of “feeling” safe. Most people are looking to feel better about their safety, not necessarily to actually be safe, and that focus may actually leave them more vulnerable than they were before. As Joshua points out, actually becoming safer, more resistant to attack and/or accident, requires a lot more work than just feeling safer — and because the latter is easier it’s the path most take. Definitely worth reading and sharing with those you know who only want to “feel” safe, not really be safe.


What kinds of guns do criminals carry?

Ever wonder what kinds of guns armed criminals actually carry? What kind of ammunition? Greg Ellifritz at Active Response Training is a working police officer, and he did a quick survey of the last 85 guns that his department confiscated from arrested criminals. He breaks it down by type, brand, caliber, and even the kind of ammunition they had loaded at the time of seizure. It’s an interesting mix (fewer cheap mouseguns than you might have expected), but what’s more interesting is how many of them weren’t completely functional. Definitely a conversation-starter, and be sure to read his conclusions and recommendations!

Stay tuned for the first Hump Day Reading List of 2016!

– Grant Cunningham



About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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