THREATENING DEADLY FORCE : MUSINGS ON “BRANDISHING” AND “WARNING” SHOTS

I “learned” the following while browsing the internet:

  • In order to scare off a home intruder and alert neighbors to summon the police, one should go out to a balcony and fire a double-barreled shotgun into the air.  WRONG: Likely tactical error abandoning a safer ensconced defensive position, misuse of limited ammunition supply, endangers others, and probably an unlawful discharge. Continue reading

Mini Review: Vertx Phantom Ops Airflow pants

I was lucky to receive the other day a pair of the new Vertx Phantom Ops Airflow pants.  If you don’t know who Vertx is, well then you’ve been asleep behind the wheel of the tactical fashion industry.  Vertx (from their website) “is the tactical brand of Fechheimer, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, Inc and makers of Flying Cross military and law enforcement uniforms.”  I also heard the name Arc’Teryx mentioned at SHOT one year as having input into the design (haven’t got confirmation yet..). Continue reading

AAR: Mike Pannone Patrol Vehicle/Rapid Trauma Management

If you work around vehicles and carry a gun for a living, you should have a plan for how to function around your vehicle with that gun. If you carry a gun for a living, holes may possibly appear where you don’t want them, and you should have a plan for how to address those. Mike Pannone (CTT Solutions) offers a single class – Patrol Vehicle/Rapid Trauma Management –  which addresses these contingencies, and you should plan to get to it if you fit the above description. Continue reading

Glock Pistols and the Grip Pressure Conundrum

For the early part of my on again/off again relationship with the Glock pistol, I had fits that I could shoot those little bitty, caliber and half sized groups at seven yards with repeatable boredom.  The problem I experienced, along with many others it seems, is that the group was consistently to the left of point of aim.  I am a right handed shooter.

I started becoming a serious student of the Glock seven or eight years ago due to work.  I fought it, aimed to the right for qualifications, and drifted sights as a solution.  The most frustrating thing is that when ball and dummy drills are introduced, no movement would be observed in the front sight.  It drove me crazy.

Then about six or so years ago, I was helping out with a cadet class at the state police academy when I observed the same thing with a group of cadets.  Right handed shooters were grouping left, and left handed shooters were grouping to the right with no visual clues during ball and dummy drills.

I went home and began to isolate parts of the shooting sequence to see if I could not figure it out.  Eventually, holding the gun with only pressure on the front strap and back, I began to hit point of aim/point of impact.  Eventually, I found out that I could death grip the gun as hard as I wanted as long as I only placed grip pressure squarely on axis of the front strap to the back strap with no side loading.

Some people have called the problem “Glock milking”, or simply milking the grip on a Glock with the strong hand.  I don’t believe the terminology is quite right as milking will manifest itself in some sight movement during ball and dummy drills.  This is not the case with introducing side load into the strong hand of the pistol.

Some folks have successfully countered the issue with stronger pressure on the support hand of the pistol.  It does seem to be hit and miss, however.

All I try to do is this.  With the strong hand, I place a moderate amount of grip on the pistol to support it out in front of me.   The support hand fills in the gaps and provides 360 degree pressure on the gun.  I put just enough pressure front to back that a magazine of shooting will leave a checkering imprint on the meat of my my palm under the thumb.  I also found that in placing pressure front strap to back strap it gives me extra lock out on the strong side wrist, stabilizing the gun shot to shot for faster sight return.

 

Some Thoughts on Appendix Carry

There are more excellent holster products for Appendix Carry than ever before, like this JM Custom Kydex rig.

Over the past half decade, it seems that every instructor on the Internet is promoting appendix carry as their favorite CCW method, and there are good reasons. Appendix carry is extremely fast from which to deploy, and if you appropriately dress around it, it conceals quite well. Our friend Caleb Giddings wrote an excellent article covering some of the pros and cons of appendix carry, and I agree with his assessment that it is measurably faster than standard IWB carry. It also comes with some increased risks, especially during reholstering. As with anything, these risks can be mitigated with proper training. Continue reading

Practice with Back Up Guns

I think that most all police officers, and some armed citizens to a point, are carrying back up guns as a norm.  Back in the day, most carried Walther PPK’s and Smith and Wesson J-frames as a back up gun.  When the Glock 26/27 debuted, the world was set on its ear.  The compatibility alone made sense for the agencies that issued the G17/22 to add the “baby” Glocks as back ups. Continue reading

Stuff Breaks

 

First generation S&W M&P .40 with approx. 7000 rounds through it. Who packs a spare locking block?

As I start gearing up for a class with Mike Pannone next week, preparation of gear is at the top of the list.  I am often asked what spare parts I take for my guns when I attend a class.  My answer is always to bring a spare gun.  No matter how well you stock your spare parts bin, you will inevitably break something you did not pack.   Continue reading

SOME PERSPECTIVE ON SHOT COUNT & PLACEMENT, RELOADS, REENGAGEMENT

A tactically appropriate, legally acceptable deadly force response doesn’t necessarily “look right.”  Imagine a courtroom (an LEO is being sued under Federal law for “excessive force,” or a non-sworn alleging self-defense is being prosecuted for murder or manslaughter), where you hear some or all of this: “Members of the jury.  You heard from several eyewitnesses in this case.  They uniformly told you they observed the defendant shoot the victim X times  .  . look around as if to see if anyone was watching, and then duck behind a wall .  .  . stash the partially empty pistol magazine .  .  . put a fresh one into the pistol  .   .   .  and reengage the wounded and flailing victim with Y additional shot(s) to the (body part) .”   A bit concerned that even with the extensive explanation of experts, the above would seem excessive (shot count), unreasonable (reloading, reengaging), and/or sinister (scanning, taking cover) to a judge or jury?  Even when the shooting is unquestionably “good”?  I am. Continue reading

Glock 42: Range Session #3

When I last visited the range with the Glock 42, I got a lot of good one handed shooting work in.  I had waited a bit to get back out with the gun until my new holster arrived – a Ghost pocket holster from Griffon Industries.  With holster in pocket, it was time to finally work some draws with this little gun. Continue reading

Transitioning To The Handgun

Author transitions from carbine to handgun during Pat McNamara TAPS class.

I have long searched for thoroughly documented instances in LE shootings where the shooter’s long gun went down and transitioning to the handgun was necessary.  We have always just taken it at face value that we should train it, and we certainly should provide shooters with a plan in the event that their primary weapon system goes down. Continue reading

The .22 Conversion Kit

Tactical Solutions conversion kit on 10-8 “14-A” Glock 19 frame.

Training with a .22 offers many known advantages: cost, reduced recoil and noise, and reduced physical wear on the shooter being at the top of the list. Even with the current state of the ammunition market, .22 rimfire ammunition is still decidedly less expensive to shoot than centerfire ammunition. If training younger shooters, older shooters, or anyone else with physical ailments that makes shooting centerfire problematic, the .22 can be a great solution. Thanks to some fairly horrific tendonitis issues that I have been battling, I have spent some bit of time with a Tactical Solutions .22 conversion kit on one of my Glock 19 frames.   Continue reading

Airsoft for Training?

A licensed Airsoft M&P from Airsoft GI alongside a customized 1911 frame with Simunition conversion kit, also customized with full dehorn, dovetailed sights, and refinish. The 1911 conversion kit is built on an actual Colt slide. It comes in at around $500 and that is before any of the above listed modifications.

Just the mention of the word “airsoft” and it will evoke images of an overweight mama’s boy fully covered in Multicam nylon manufactured and imported from your favorite third world country. In this article, it is my aim to critically examine whether or not the airsoft pistol has any place in serious training, or if it must permanently be relegated to a spot in an adolescent’s toy closet.

Continue reading

Sight Radius- What role does it really play in a defensive pistol?

Recently, I’ve been shooting some drills from concealment with various pistols from the Glock 9mm family.  My thinking over the years on a defensive pistol is that it should be one that fits a couple of simple criteria: a pistol that is reliable, and one that you’ll carry every day.  For some, a Ruger LCP fits the bill.  A Ruger in the pocket always beats a custom M1911 in the car when it comes down to needing it now. However, I’ve always advocated carrying the most gun that you can comfortably carry. Some will say there is an “average” gun fight (IE 1-3 feet, 1-3 Seconds, 1-3 rounds fired).  I feel that there is no such thing as “average” and if I can perform these tasks at 25 yards at speed, the close in stuff is a chip shot.  However, merely banging away at contact distance doesn’t equate to hitting stuff at distance if it becomes a lifesaving requirement.  But, that is a conversation for another day. Continue reading

First Look: ID Target Systems

A sample oak of square range targets with face and multiple threat overlays from ID Target Systems.

We have come a long way since the B-27 target, a staple used in law enforcement qualifications since what seems like the beginning of time. Fortunately, we have evolved past that target that features unrealistic targeting zones that reinforce bad habits in shot placement. Before I go any further, I feel the need to mention that I use different targets for different goals. For building specific technical skills, I will use simple targets such as a bullseye, round or square plates, etc., These targets aren’t designed to simulate a tactical application, but rather, evaluate whether or not I meet a particular accuracy standard. For “tactical” type training, I prefer targets that feature scoring zones located in realistic areas such as the ocular cavity or high thoracic chest. No more shooting at the navel to get 10 points. Here, we will be discussing targets for tactical type training. Continue reading