CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE NON-SWORN : HOLDING SOMEONE “AT GUNPOINT”

              Executive summary:  Usually a bad idea, often a very bad idea.

[This is a follow on to prior posts, THREATENING DEADLY FORCE : MUSINGS ON “BRANDISHING” AND “WARNING” SHOTS, and “CASTLE” DEFENSE: WHAT CAN–MAY–SHOULD–MUST YOU DO]

“Can/should I hold someone at gunpoint?” A common question when the topic of guns and defensive use of deadly force is discussed.  The questioner’s “gunpoint” hypothetical usually poses a home invasion, robbery attempt of the questioner, or “in progress” interdiction of someone committing a property crime, or a violent crime against the questioner or another person. The question is another one to which I respond with my smart aleck lawyer’s answer:  “I don’t know, can/should you?”  It lends itself to analysis similar to what I discussed in prior MSW posts on the use of deadly force –  my paradigm:

CAN / MAY / SHOULD / MUST

For the purpose of this post, holding someone “at gunpoint” is not necessarily muzzling the threatened person(s), openly holding an exposed firearm in any specific “ready” position, or a mode of “display” permitted or prohibited by a state “brandishing” statute.  I use the phrase here to mean the display of a firearm coupled with the express or implied threat that a failure to obey commands will result in the use of deadly force, that is, the gunpointer WILL shoot.  (If unprivileged, usually considered a serious felony, such as an armed assault or assault with/by deadly weapon).  Consider the following for your analysis of the SHOULD element of the paradigm. Continue reading

SIG SAUER announces the release of a factory P220 in 10mm

As first reported midweek by SIGforum.com, SIG Sauer has announced that a 10mm version of their venerable P220 will be released at the SHOT Show in January.

The fascination with a 10mm P220 first started with Bruce Gray of Grayguns, Inc, who accepted a challenge that the P220 10mm conversion “couldn’t be done”.  Bruce made limited conversion runs of all steel P220 .45 ACP pistols to 10mm.  This was a painstaking task as it took quite a bit to get the pistol chambered in .45 ACP to run the 10mm reliably.

The P220/10 will be have both SAO and DA/SA configurations, and will be available in 4.25 and 5 inch lengths.  It will be based upon their all steel P220 Elite series of pistols as it is being reported.

Bushmaster .308 ORC MOE Carbine Review

Bushmaster . 308 ORC MOE Carbine. Nikon 1-4 Scope with Nikon P Series Mount. Magpul M3 PMags, Vltor Scout Mount with Surefire G2 Light, HST Sling, MDFA Kydex FDE .308 Mag Pouch.

Having been a long time user (37 years) of the M-16/AR-15 family in 5.56, I decided that it was time I tried one in the caliber that the weapon was originally designed for .308. I’m a proponent of 30 caliber weapons and the .308 and 30-06 are my favorites. While the 5.56/.223 work well within certain situations, I wanted a more versatile caliber, with the ability to penetrate barriers as well as one that has more effect on target in a defensive situation. We also have large animals here in Maine and the 5.56 is somewhat lacking in it’s ability to address those situations.(Ever have to shoot an injured Moose?) Continue reading

Iron Sight Myths, Misconceptions, and Stuff, Part 1: Three Dot Sights

At some horrible, fateful point in the late 80′s or so, the 3 dot sight system assumed the throne of its seemingly never-ending reign of terror. Yes, I hate 3 dot sights, and so should you.

The basic rationale behind the 3 dot sight system is that it speeds up sight alignment by allowing you to theoretically line up the dots and fire. It’s not so simple, and let’s look at some of the issues.

Do I line up the top plane of the sights or the 3 dots when I aim? You NEVER ever ever ever ever ever line up the 3 dots to aim. Ever. Well maybe that’s a bit broad, but novice shooters should just reread that and stick with it. The 3 dots serve only to theoretically speed sight acquisition, but there is no guarantee that the 3 dots are actually in a correct line relative to your point of impact, so there is no reason to use them in such a manner. The most accurate and correct work is always to be done with the top plane of the sights. The only real exception is if you are in pitch darkness and the only elements you see are your 3 glowing tritium dots. However, that is fodder for a different article so don’t steal my thunder for part 27 of this series.

Those 3 dots are so easy to see and line up! When the gun is clean and you are dry firing in a relaxed manner in perfect lighting, sure. Once you start shooting, the front sight – where your attention should be – starts to get dirty from muzzle blast and the nice clean rear dots really jump out at your eye instead. When white outlined tritium dots age, it is easy to end up with three dots that are different colors and shapes thanks to paint outlines fading and chipping. Your eye wants a single area of focus, not three different ones.

Under stress you can line up the dots wrong by putting your front sight outside the two rear dots. Well I suppose that could happen, but go try it right now and look how wildly wrong the pistol needs to be aligned to have that happen. A little more dry fire time is in order if this happens to you regularly.

You’ll notice that the pistol in the photo above has the two rear dots blacked out with magic marker. It is a cheap fix, and one that I recommend be done on every factory sight set. This simple trick was passed on to me years ago by friend and mentor Ken Hackathorn, a guy who has forgotten more about handgunning than most will ever know. Marker does rub off easily, but the advantage of using marker instead of paint is that the rear tritium inserts will glow through the ink if you still want to use the tritium. Try this little trick and you may find that your front sight suddenly jumps out at your eye when you shoot.

Vendor Spotlight- Top Gun Supply

 

I first met Tom Allen at the SHOT show seven or eight years ago.  At the time, Tom had a small-ish  firearms/accessory business in Chesterland, Ohio.  Tom and I made some small talk and he told me if I ever needed any SIG related stuff to give him a shout.

I got home and needed a set of sights a few weeks later, and went onto the Top Gun Supply website and ordered a set of Meprolight Night Sights for a P220.  I remember I ordered the sights on Monday.  They got to my door on Wednesday.  Whoa.  That was quick.

Over the years, I’ve watched Top Gun Supply grow into the largest supplier of SIG Sauer parts and accessories.  Tom and Michelle have dedicated much to the SIG Sauer line of products. Continue reading

Dispelling an AK myth

The “proof” that a 7.62×39 pencil was not used

Shane Johnson shooting the SAM7SF

I recently had a range experience that dispelled one of the greatest urban legends of the firearms world. That the 7.62x.39 AK 47 is incapable of the accuracy level of the AR-15…. or much of anything else. While that may be true in most cases, I just found that to be a myth. After much experimentation down the AK47 path, I settled on what I believe is the finest AK pattern rifle ever made. This is the Arsenal SAM7SF. Continue reading

MADE IN THE USA : THE SAM® SPLINT

 

Whether flat or rolled, they take up little space, and weigh almost nothing. Proven highly useful in everyday civilian aid, search and rescue, military, sports, and back country applications.  From the sammedical website: “Built from a thin core of aluminum alloy and sandwiched between two layers of closed-cell foam, the SAM Splint can be bent into any of three simple curves, becoming extremely strong and supportive for any fractured or injured limb.”   And yes, there is a guy named Sam — he’s an MD, and the company’s founder and CEO. Continue reading

Recommended Reading

I was recently going through my bookshelf throwing away some old catalogs and magazines and came across a few gems that I particularly enjoyed reading, not only because they were entertaining, but had a good amount of educational value as well. None of these books are exactly hot off the press, but if you’ve missed any of these, do yourself a favor and grab them from Amazon. Continue reading

HK VP9, Range Time Impressions

I finally managed to squeeze in a serious range session with my new HK VP9. I shot the gun completely stock with the exception of blacking out the two dots on the rear sight with a black marker. Holster rig was a pair of Comptac P30 mag pouches and their P30 paddle holster with the retention backed out a bit. It worked out well enough in a pinch, but a different holster is forthcoming. Continue reading

MADE IN THE USA : RITE IN THE RAIN®

Rite in the Rain (RITR) of Tacoma, Washington.  Magic stuff.  Well, not really.  But definitely rain, splash, and sweat proof, and about as tacticool as you can get for something that doesn’t send rounds downrange and make noise.  Some of their products have an NSN, so my guess is real operators use ‘em. Continue reading

One Weird Trick To Shoot Better

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am here today to share with you a trick that the “BIG SCHOOLS” don’t want you to know.  If you don’t want to shoot better like a NAVY SEAL in just two hours, please leave this blog now.  This is for those who are serious, for those who want instant improvement in their practice.  This one “Weird Trick” discovered by a stay at home mom wanting to learn to defend herself from the upcoming zombie apocalypse.  Please, stay until the end of this blog if you are serious.

This one “weird” trick is called PRACTICE.  There are no slick fixes.  There are no pills, no potions that will take a D class shooter, and make them a Master class.

It seems the “ONE WEIRD TRICK” “HOW TO LOSE BELLY FAT WHILE EATING PIZZA THREE MEALS A DAY” or “FIND OUT THE REAL REASON OBAMA WANTS YOUR GUNS” meme has started to lurk into the firearms community. The sideshow barker lures you in with an instant cure for diabetes from an ad showing a Jelly Doughnut. Or warns you that “For those not serious about defending your family with the tricks of real world special forces operators need to leave this video now” all the while showing a bearded, multicam clad meat eater with his face blacked out.

I get that the firearms community has been hawking stuff for years with the claim of making us better and faster.  Variations of the sights that I call the “Alien versus Predator” sights that claim that it makes you faster on target.  Yet, every special ops unit and top tier competitor I know is using standard sights.  Some with a fiber optic front, some with a standard front blade.  If these huge, colorful sights that come together making an homage to the pharaohs were so good, you’d think they’d be on every gun in USPSA,, and CAG would order 500 sets of them.   Apparently, these folks haven’t discovered how fast these sights make you.

There is no magic fix other than practice. The more you dry fire, the more you practice, the better you will become. Say it with me, the faster you will become. Recently, I had a buddy of mine who is just getting back into shooting USPSA after a lay off come to me with a question.  At his last match, he won his division by a hair. He said that he sucked, but everyone just sucked a little more than he did that day. He was concerned that some of the younger guys were faster than him. He was sure that he was too slow, and wanted help putting a plan together to get faster. I asked him when the last time he devoted 15 minutes to dry firing and he replied “Oh, I have not practiced in months”.  There your problem, you’ve got mud in your tires.

We as a nation seemed to be fixated on quick fixes. Time and practice makes us better.

The one “WEIRD TIP” is the same that it has been for decades. Practice. Train with a plan.  Dry Fire. You’ll like the results.

RENDERING AID TO POLICE : YEA OR NAY?

    

       

Recent stories where the non-sworn (usually referred to as a “citizen” or “civilian”) successfully assisted a police officer caused me to write this post.  One “all’s well that ends well” scenario involved a man who took shots when he witnessed an in-progress armed robbery and believed a responding officer was in danger of being ambushed. The officer took cover and the robber was captured later.  (See here and here). Another, a more common scenario, involved bystanders who helped subdue a subject who might have overpowered the officer.  (See here).  Similar stories and videos on topic pop up on TV news reports and officer interest websites from time to time. (See examples, here and here).  As an MSW reader, you likely already know that being a “hero” aiding police is, like policing itself, dangerous business.  Thus it is no surprise; not every “hero” comes through unscathed.  (See here).  Also not surprising; simply having a cup of java in public with an officer is not risk-free.  (See here).  Finally, would it not just plain suck to aid an officer .  .  . and then someone else gets the credit? (See here). Continue reading

First Look- SIG MCX Carbine in 300 Blackout.

Last week, I was out at the SIG Academy teaching a class when one of my friends who is one of their engineers showed up with all kinds of cool stuff.

One of these items was a suppressed SIG MCX in 300 Blackout.  I didn’t have a lot of time due to teaching, but I ran enough ammo through it to say without a doubt…….wow. Continue reading