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Wed, Jul. 4th, 2007, 10:59 pm
Independence Day training

Steve Fisher and several friends got together for a class on self-defense with handgun. Great class for both beginners and intermediate students. Steve and his assistant Rick did a great job of improving the skills of all participants.
  • Pocket carry is not very good: deployment is slow, especially on the move.
  • Kel-tec P32 can be extremely accurate despite tiny size and primitive sights. P32 mags do not drop free and can be hard to rip out of the grip for reload.
  • S&W M&P9 full-size and compact are both awesome. Glocks may feel like good pistols, but M&P feels like extension of the hand. I will be upgrading despite the cost.
  • .22 pistols are invaluable for training, both for flinch-prone users and for the frugal shooters. My stock of 115 grain 9x19 has been depleted almost completely.
  • Fighting rifles must have adjustable stocks. Even 10-22 carbine stock is too long by 3" when the shooter is only 4'10" tall.
  • All magazines should be tested prior to serious use.
  • Training and practice are both essential. Having competent instructors is a must.
  • Airsoft, pellet guns and .22 are good enough for most of the training, but real guns should be used to get a feel for the trigger and recoil control.
  • Everyday clothing should be used in preference to tactical or range wear.
  • Magazine disconnect "safety" is a hazard for both fighting and administrative handling.
  • Best gun ranges allow 360* movement with hot guns.
  • A 93 pound girl with tiny hands can operate a 5" 1911 in 45ACP or M&P 9mm without problem. Short trigger reach helps.
  • Training with friends is more fun and more useful than training with strangers.
  • Mixing guns with different trigger resets (Kahr vs. Glock, for example) is a recipe for disaster in actual defensive situation.
I'll add more as I think of it.

The rest of the photos.

Thu, Jul. 5th, 2007 05:07 am (UTC)
(Anonymous): faces

Very smooth looking photos of folks shooting. How are you getting the faces so bright under the caps?

Thu, Jul. 5th, 2007 05:10 am (UTC)
olegvolk: Re: faces

On a couple of them, I dodged a little using "curves" control.

Thu, Jul. 5th, 2007 05:54 am (UTC)

I noticed most of the pistol shooters seem to be shooting in the full forward Weaver. The police do this because they are wearing armor, which works best in that position. IMHO, if you are not wearing armor, the modified weaver which presents a smaller target is a better choice.

Thu, Jul. 5th, 2007 12:12 pm (UTC)

I try to practice shooting from the modern isosceles because I want to hit what I'm aiming at as rapidly as possible, and that's the stance I've found that best facilitates it for me. (That's why competitive action pistol shooters, who don't wear body armor either, have pretty much all left the Weaver for the modern isosceles.)

The whole "bladed Weaver makes you a smaller target" has always smelled a little "Timmy Tacticool" to me, anyway. You want to hear a tacticool argument against the modified Weaver? If you're squared up to the target, it's hard for one pistol bullet to traverse multiple organs...

-Tam (http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com)

Thu, Jul. 5th, 2007 02:29 pm (UTC)

that's the stance I've found that best facilitates it for me.

And that's the key there. Whatever gets the round off fastest and on target. For me, I was trained and have shot that way for so long that I would be hard pressed to change.

As for the Timmy Tacticool, you could be right. But a smaller target makes for a harder acquisition, and since I have never had armor issued that I would trust against 7.62 *laughs*, I'd rather avoid getting hit in the first place.

Thu, Jul. 5th, 2007 12:37 pm (UTC)

The reasons for facing the target are: better mobility (most of the time, you don't want to stay in place), better all-around binocular vision (instead of field of view skewed to the strong side).

Thu, Jul. 5th, 2007 02:10 pm (UTC)

All the pros are shooting square to the target in some variant of mod/iso. It is just plain faster.

Thu, Jul. 5th, 2007 02:20 pm (UTC)

better mobility (most of the time, you don't want to stay in place)

That's kinda funny, I have always associated the full forward with the horse stance in martial arts, with is an extremely stable platform, and the modded weaver with the half moon stance, which allows smooth transitions and movement. I do agree that you are more prone to have your vision canted to your strong side, but one should be sweeping the area looking for the next target anyway.

Wed, Jul. 11th, 2007 02:51 am (UTC)

That's always been my thought on movement as well.

The whole standing square shouldered with feet under the shoulders bit feels very much like standing still.

Standing that way when sword fighting is a great way to not move out of the way from my experience.

Thu, Jul. 5th, 2007 06:20 pm (UTC)

Even if the human body was flat (which it isn't) you'd have to turn 26° to reduce your frontal area by 10%. With a horizontal cross section at chest height that's somewhere between oval and rectangular with an axis ratio of roughly 1.5:1, I guess one would have to turn more than 45° to present a target that's even a few % smaller.

T.Stahl, who prefers isosceles.

Thu, Jul. 5th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC)

You're such an engineer. :p


Thu, Jul. 5th, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC)

I know. I'm sorry. ;-)


Thu, Jul. 5th, 2007 10:06 am (UTC)

Regarding the lessons learned, I agree fully with most. A few comments:

I practice with .22's and even airsofts, but I think their value to flinch-prone shooters is a bit exaggerated. With a good mind-set and instructor, as well as short enough sessions and shot strings, you can use what you would actually carry. There are lots of tricks a good instructor can use, to help a beginner to cope with more powerful handguns. The main benefit of a .22 and airsofts IMO is the cost of ammo, and possibility to train 360* almost anywhere with the latter.

Some argue that the magazine disconnect safety could be used to quickly render the pistol inoperable, in case the situation turns into a wrestling match. I haven't fully decided what I think of this, but the magazine safety is indeed a pain in the neck in range and competition use.

I've also found myself leaving the reset too short on some pistols (such as the XD), being used to the superbly short reset of Glocks. The solution is to make a longer reset move regardless of what you're shooting. Some people have suggested even breaking the connection between the finger and the trigger. Not necessarily good for bullseye shooting, but should suffice for defensive.

Thu, Jul. 5th, 2007 12:16 pm (UTC)

I find I benefit from plenty of .22 practice. I have a .22 understudy J-frame and a Ciener kit for my 1911s. It's not that I'm too wimpy for my snubnose .44 Magnums, but I'll bet you even Elmer Keith would get a little flinch prone at the end of a day of shooting rhino-rollers and go make a can dance with a .22 to help unwind.


Thu, Jul. 5th, 2007 02:54 pm (UTC)

Yes, like I said I practice with .22s and airsofts as well, and think they are a valuable supplement to training. By no means do I disagree with that. The accuracy of a good .22 pistol beats pretty much all service pistols, so they are great for honing the sharpest edge of your accuracy. But I find that saying it's a "must" is exaggerating just a bit. In some Finnish areas the firearms permit officers won't even allow anything else than a .22 for a first handgun.

If you're shooting hundreds of rounds over a few hours, chances are your concentration isn't at its best level, regardless of what you shoot. It's not that much about what caliber shoot, it's how you shoot it. I think this point isn't brought up often enough, and some people might get the idea that simply blasting thousands of rounds with a .22 at the target will make them excellent shots.

BTW. If you're the same Tam as in the picture, I must say you have a good taste for music: "ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long"