Thoughts on Travel and Training for Defensive Gun Use

Taking responsibility for the safety my loved ones and property is something I think is incredibly important. If the day ever comes (and I hope it does not) where my family faces a violent threat, I will not be satisfied with calling 911 and hoping that help arrives. Hope is not a strategy- my employer would fire me if I tried to pass off hope as a way to accomplish business goals. Isn't this immeasurably more important than a job?

Looking around this site will demonstrate my devotion to training for excellence. A CCW class is a good start but does not take you far enough to make you a hard target (one that is resistant to attack and does not present weaknesses that can easily be exploited). Situational awareness helps – remember that a violent threat is a predator and no different than a wolf, hyena or jackal you see stalking prey on a nature documentary- telegraphing weakness or a lack of vigilance is an invitation for trouble. What does all this babble have to do with training? You must train how you will fight because in a life-threatening situation you will fight how you train– that's what the top-flight warriors say anyway.

Recently I ran across a brochure from Beretta- 10 CCW tips. It's pretty good fare- no surprise that its a Beretta subcompact fashion show- but there is a notion in this flyer here that I disagree with and I think it's important to share:

Tip 10 in the Beretta brochure nearly made me spit out my coffee:

10. Closing to Engage a Threat

“The gun you are carrying has limitations, especially if it is small. Some people can make amazing shots, but under stress the odds are slim that you will connect with your intended target.”

The beginning of this tip sheet does set the focus of this conversation on small-caliber subcompact calibers: .25acp, .380 and the like and in this case their point is valid. 7yds is about as far as you should trust using one of these guns for self-defense. FBI statistics and revised agent training requirements suggest that's all you need. Although 7yds may not be enough if you have to engage a threat in a movie theater (think Aurora).

TRAINING TIP: When you train to draw from concealment also practice saying/ yelling a SHTF phrase. A popular one is “he's got a gun!” But I prefer “Somebody call 911!”. Hopefully a couple things happen if I do this: 1. Someone calls 911 to get law enforcement headed your way; 2. You identify yourself as a good guy, or at least not the bad guy- hopefully to the 911 caller who reports the incident.

What else is implied by this limitation? Effective range and stopping power go hand in hand. This is exactly why I carry a .40 subcompact. If I need to use my gun I want to send the most stopping power possible towards the threat. Under this sort of stress the average person is not going to react perfectly. That's another reason I will gladly take the extra stopping power- a less than perfect hit might be enough to stop the fight, whereas a less than perfect hit from a .25 might not be.

It's also crazy to suggest getting closer to a threat in order to engage. I train to move away and at a slight lateral angle to accomplish two things: put distance between the threat and me and make myself a more difficult target. The majority of the time I think this will end up to my advantage. That also indicates that the gun falls short of effective stopping power. Something is always better than nothing- if your situation calls for the extra concealability of an LCP or a PX4 other mouse gun then definitely carry it. Also be sure to train to effectively use it.


2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Travel and Training for Defensive Gun Use

  1. Pingback: Lower 1/3 vs. Absolute Co-witness | kR-15: info and resources for firearms enthusiasts

  2. Pingback: DGU tip: Train to Find and Use Cover | kR-15: info and resources for firearms enthusiasts

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s