With home and personal defense being the number one reason that people purchase firearms, you’d think that more time would be spent training for potential close proximity threats.
Turns out, not so much.
This is a wide-ranging subject that covers a lot of ground, so we’re going to split this one up into two segments. Here, we’ll dive into some of the realities of self defense shooting and then get into specific techniques in another post. To help define it further, we’ll stick to handguns and what we would consider to be the ‘average’ novice gun owner.
Everyone wants to shoot quickly and accurately, and the stance that we choose can make a big difference in how we perform.
The right stance can be different for each shooter (and situation), but it’s a major factor in how we control sight alignment, body position, balance and recoil offset.
Think of it this way – you wouldn’t build a new house with a weak foundation, and it’s the same with how you establish your body before you shoot. Also consider any other sport or dynamic activity and how a solid base-of-support sets you up for optimal performance. From boxing to tennis, how you set-up is the first step to success.
Now having said that, there are a number of factors that we have to consider. [Read more…] about Handgun Stances: Traditional vs. Modern
There is only one reason to fire at another human being. That is to stop a threat. The threat must be so great that the only means of stopping violent action is to fire. It must not matter morally or legally if the individual dies as a result of being shot. This is serious business that demands care when choosing the handgun and its ammunition for personal defense. [Read more…] about Heavyweight Bullet Choices for Personal Defense
When recently asked for thoughts about situational awareness training, I became (quite honestly) puzzled. It seems to me, it’s not a skill that needs to be taught—it’s quite intuitive. I believe recognizing human predatory behavior is hardwired into our psyche. Over time, wild animals have been replaced by criminals as our main predators. Just as a dog raises its hackles in a confrontation, the hair standing up on the back of our neck is a sign—an instinctual warning that something is amiss. [Read more…] about Situational Awareness: Hardwired Instinct vs. Motivation
Officer Smith was dispatched on a disturbance call. Upon arrival, he attempted to interview a known drug dealer who was present on the scene. The suspect verbally threatened the officer, picked up a weapon, and charged the officer in a threatening manner. Realizing that he was in grave danger, officer Smith drew his department-issued Berretta, fired two shots, and then holstered his firearm. The suspect sustained two hits to the chest and continued his drug-driven rampage, killing officer Smith. Although the officer’s name was changed, sadly, this is a true story, and shows why you need street training. [Read more…] about Street Training: Keep It Real to Stay Alive
On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was driving on Interstate 95 in Massachusetts, listening as the attacks unfolded on the radio, heading toward Boston to teach a three-hour seminar. When I got to the office where the class was being held, it was only the sobbing receptionist that broke the deafening silence to greeted me. We decided to press on with the training program. During the class breaks, we watched the towers burn on television. To describe it as surreal would be an understatement. When I got home early that afternoon—already wearing my handgun, as normal—I took a rifle, and shotgun out of the quick-action safe and put one on each side of the house. [Read more…] about Chose the Handgun Over a Rifle or Shotgun for Defense!
Being involved in the firearms and training industries, I spend a lot of time with people who carry firearms daily. These folks spend a great deal of their work time in condition “yellow,” yet when they get home, they often let their guard down. Your home, as hard as it may be to believe, may be one of the most dangerous places to face a violent assailant. I say that for two reasons. [Read more…] about Defending Your Home — Inside Issues
When we holster up, an astounding emotional transformation often occurs—we become empowered. We feel defended, secure, and we almost feel immortal. It’s as if the firearm we carry imparts strength and shielding approaching superhero proportions. While somewhat natural, do not underestimate the heroic consequences of your actions. [Read more…] about Heroic Consequences: In Defense of Others
The genesis of this article resulted from numerous online posts relating to defensive shooting. While the internet is a great source of knowledge, it is also a great source of misinformation. Here’s a few concepts worthy of examination. [Read more…] about Defensive Shooting Myths and Truths
The statistics say it all… It does not matter where you are at, your safety is at risk. Walmart is not safe. Elementary schools are not safe. Government buildings are not safe. Your home is not safe. And over the weekend, we watched in horror as places of worship (knife attacks at a synagogue in New York and church shooting in Texas) were attacked, demonstrating once again, they are not safe. The Texas shooter was known to police and had a criminal record. The suspect in New York was reported to have no criminal history. In the synagogue attack in New York, the suspect entered the Rabbi’s home and stabbed five people, fracturing one their skulls. In Texas, during church services, a man stood up, removed a shotgun from under a long coat, and pointed it at the parishioners. Two innocents were killed. At least one of them can be seen in the video reaching for a concealed handgun before being shot.
For years, most of us have counseled concealed carry handgun carriers to choose a proper holster. A holster keeps the handgun stable and angled for the proper draw. Just the same, who am I to go against 200 years or more of holsterless tradition? After all, Wild Bill Hickock packed his revolvers in a tightly-woven sash. [Read more…] about Tactics: Holsterless Handgun Carry
In a profession that should be conservative by nature, we see a lot of flash, bling, and “pie in the sky” when examining the personal defense field. A healthy dose of self-respect is sometimes alloyed with ego, but the real deal in training means the trainer must train for likely scenarios. Personal defense isn’t a tactical operation by any means. It is small scale and most important only to the ones involved. [Read more…] about The Real Deal in Training
Mrgunsngear on Instagram has posted a helluva question—I’ll rephrase it a bit to expand on the premise, “Are you really ready to confront a mass shooter… an armed, determined individual who is intent on committing mass murder and most likely looking to die anyway?” The answer is anything but simple. [Read more…] about Are You Ready to Confront a Mass Shooter?
Before we make a purchase, we research what we are buying. By the same token, an investment in time should not be taken lightly. We look to those with good information in order to learn. After all, we are all ignorant, simply about different things. When it comes to training, speed and accuracy are always among the top considerations. [Read more…] about Speed Is Good, but Accuracy Is Final
There are many self-defense gun myths that continue to make the rounds. I am going to pick five of them and explain why they are not true and why you should politely ignore or walk away from any trainer mouthing them. [Read more…] about 5 Gun Myths of Self-Defense
The first thing to understand about cover is that the ability to stop bullets is greatly dependent on caliber. A sheet of plywood may act as cover for a .22 LR, but it certainly won’t for a 5.56 round. The concept applies for most objects other than things that are very solid or dense, such as vehicle engines. [Read more…] about The Proper Use of Cover
The most dangerous places are outside the home. For home defense, we have barriers including outer doors, glass, and hard interior doors. Hopefully, the family has your back, and you have a plan. If not, you have more problems than I can address. Illegal narcotics, and the pharmaceutical industry’s greed fed opioid epidemic, turn many against their fellows, and the family is the first victim—just so you will not be surprised. [Read more…] about Home Defense Details
Among the most misunderstood tactics in personal defense is the double tap. More than half of those practicing defense shooting execute the double tap incorrectly. Worse yet, it is most often taught incorrectly. [Read more…] about The Double Tap — Are You Doing it Right?
There are many reasons for training. Training is a serious business but also a profitable business for many. A few genuinely train to save lives. Others train and go through the motions and seem to have lost contact with the reason we train. I maintain that training often reflects the individual’s personal values. [Read more…] about Op-ed: Training and Values for Concealed Carry