Tactical Tip Of The Week

Patchlogo

Tactical Tip Of The Week

During the last two “Tactical Tip Of The Week” articles, I began to discuss the issue of selecting a handgun. If you haven’t read those two postings, it would be beneficial to read them prior to reading this weeks posting. You can find the prior postings in my website www.gunfightersltd.com or in my Face Book page – Gunfighters Ltd. Combat Shooting Methods Inc. I have also teamed with Ian Kinder of Live Safe Academy to produce a podcast and video presentation on this topic. They are available on his website www.livesafeacademy.com.

We have discussed the selection process for a handgun that will be worn for duty/open carry and home defense purposes. Let’s look at another mission/role of a handgun – concealed carry.

Selecting the right concealed carry handgun can be a confusing task since there are many viewpoints and believes about this issue. My intention is to present information that can help you make an informed decision based upon a valid analysis of your needs. I have seen many people brought down a path that caused them to select a handgun that initially seemed to be a good choice only to find out after spending a large sum of money that their choice really didn’t work out for them. Let’s examine the mission/role of the concealed carry handgun using the same matrix I used to discuss the duty/open carry and home defense handgun. Here is the matrix again:

 “Size vs. Concealment vs. Proficiency”

One important mission/role for our concealed carry handgun is to provide us the ability to defend ourselves against a spontaneous attack initiated by someone else when we are in imminent danger of serious bodily harm and/or dead. A handgun IS a lethal force instrument and when we deploy it, it means that the scenario we are in requires that level of force to be available to defend ourselves.  

Also, we may find ourselves having to deploy our concealed carry handgun to defend someone else that is facing imminent danger of serious bodily harm and/or death. In this article, I won’t get into some of the complex issues about this type of scenario and getting involved in it. That is a separate topic and critically important one for another day.

Now that we have discussed the mission/role of the concealed carry handgun, we need to take a little time to discuss the environment that we will have a high probability of operating in when we deploy out concealed carry handgun. Here are a few parameters that may define that environment:

  •  The incident is usually spontaneous in nature
  • No matter what level of situational awareness a person may have, the person carrying concealed will oftentimes be reacting to the lethal threat posed by the attacker. 
  • The distances involved in the shooting will generally be at close range. This can be from contact distance where there is a possibility of having to engage in a physical confrontation prior to drawing the concealed handgun to being within 7 yards from the suspect. 
  • Close-quarters combat shootings are generally EXTREMELY FAST, occur in poor visibility conditions, and the defender is not behind cover.
  • Due to the defender’s perception that a life-threatening event is happening to them and perceives his/her life is in jeopardy, the Sympathetic Nervous System can activate causing potential difficulties with motor skills. Simple tasks may become more complicated and what might be smooth actions in practice may not be as smooth in combat. The handgun we select, the positioning of it concealed on our body, the holster we are using and the clothing we are wearing can also add to the complexity of deploying our concealed carry handgun in this high-stress, high-speed environment.

Of course, there are more issues involved in the environment. I just wanted to get some thoughts out for everyone to consider. Our selection of a concealed carry handgun can be guided and influenced by some of what was discussed above.

Now let’s get into some specifics about selecting a concealed carry handgun for YOUR PERSONAL NEEDS not the needs of someone writing an article or teaching a class professing what works for THEM.

First let’s look at the issue of “Size vs. Concealment”. There are several factors that will help determine if a particular handgun is the appropriate size for your concealed carry needs. Up front, I will address the issue that I see professed by many in the concealed carry community. The issue is carrying a full size handgun as your concealed carry choice. If it works for you, DO IT!! But please, don’t lay that on everyone else because it works for you. Instead, let’s offer advise that can be more useful for those who have different needs and/or perspective. Let’s also refer back to the information I included above about the environment you will be operating in when you are carrying concealed.

 

Here are a few considerations to analyze when making your selection:

  •  When we are selecting the handgun we want to use for concealed carry, we have to analyze how we intend to conceal it. The way we dress will have a tremendous impact on what we can hide. Business suits, casual wear, hot climate clothing, cold weather climate clothing and being male or female will have to be factored into the equation.
  •  Body type can be a factor. Tall, short, slim, extra material around the waist, male or female will also play a part in what will work for a particular individual’s physical characteristics.
  •  The design of the particular handgun will also be important. Some handguns are wider than others, taller than others, flatter than others and some are longer than others. Until you have the opportunity to physically wear the handgun in the exact holster and location you intend to use and it is concealed under the clothing you intend to wear, you will not know how it works for you. Also, as I wrote above, you may have to dress differently for work, social events or simply running the errands. You will need to check how the handgun conceals in each of those scenarios. The size of the handgun will be an important issue to pay attention to when you are making your selection.
  • Comfort level is also an important issue. If the size of the handgun causes you to be uncomfortable while carrying it concealed, it may cause the handgun to remain home rather than on your person. The handgun AND holster selected will have a great impact on the comfort issue.

While there are more factors, I will also like to bring up the requirement for absolute concealment. The last thing you want (especially in today’s environment) is to allow someone to see your concealed handgun inadvertently. For both a law enforcement officer and civilian legally carrying concealed, it can be a potentially dangerous situation if someone sees your handgun when it supposed to be concealed.

The last part of the matrix is “Proficiency”. Size of the handgun can pose a problem with proficiency for many people. This issue could take up a few chapters in a book so I will try to hit some key points with the understanding that there are a lot of issues when we talk about proficiency.

There has to be a balance between the size of the handgun as it relates to the type of clothing worn, body dimensions of the individual and the location the handgun will be placed on the body. This is something that the individual will have to honestly address and make decisions based upon reality not fantasy. YOUR reality may be much different from my reality or the next person’s reality.

Let’s put it into a perspective that might help in making a choice. We have discussed in this article and in the others I have been posting that combat shootings tend to be close-quarters events. So, as it relates to proficiency, given proper training, would there be much difference between hitting a threat that is 3 yards from you with a full size Glock 17 or a Glock 19 or Glock 26? How about the difference between a full size 1911, Commander or Officer size model? I could go on with comparisons but the point is that the distances involved is relatively close to the threat so when you make a selection, it should be based upon its true mission – personal, close-quarters protection. Training with ANY handgun selected will determine how well an individual will deploy the handgun from concealment and stop a threat. It has been my personal experience as a trainer that in close-quarters, there is very little, if any, difference between a person’s performance with a handgun of similar make with a 5 inch, 4 inch or 3.5 inch barrel. Yes there is a point where there can be a difference in one’s ability to be as proficient with a smaller handgun as opposed to a larger one, but the environment for combat shootings with a handgun tend to be at a distance where it doesn’t make a significant difference provided proper training has been received by the shooter.

So, to sum this up, I would like to once again emphasize that the handgun selected has to match the mission/role, type of clothing worn, body dimensions, and the ease of deploying the selected handgun from the holster you have chosen to wear. Also, the positioning of the handgun on your body and the ability to conceal the handgun as you go about your business will affect the size of the handgun you can conceal.

 DO NOT feel guilty or under-gunned because you select a Glock 19 over a Glock 17 or a compact version of any full sized handgun. You have your own requirements and make your decision based upon YOUR needs.

 I hope this helps you make this important choice. Be safe.

 Lou Chiodo

 A safety tip from Lou Chiodo

 

 

 

 

Tactical Tip Of The Week

Patchlogo

Tactical Tip Of The Week

 During the last “Tactical Tip Of The Week”, I began to discuss the issue of selecting a handgun. If you haven’t read that posting, it would be beneficial to read it prior to reading this weeks posting. You can find the prior posting in my website www.gunfightersltd.com or in my Face Book page – Gunfighters Ltd Combat Shooting Methods Inc. I have also teamed with Ian Kinder of Live Safe Academy to produce a podcast and video presentation on this topic. They are available on his website www.livesafeacademy.com.

 We have discussed the selection process for a handgun that will be worn for duty/open carry purposes. Let’s look at another mission/role of a handgun – home defense.

 For many people, the handgun is used for the defense of their home and families. Let’s examine this mission/role using the same matrix I used to discuss the duty/open carry of a handgun. Here is the matrix again:

“Size vs. Concealment vs. Proficiency”

 For a handgun used for home defense, size of the handgun isn’t an issue since it will not be concealed. Larger handguns fit right into this mission/role so if you are selecting a handgun for this purpose, you don’t have to consider size as a factor as it relates to having to conceal it under clothing.

 Let’s talk about the proficiency issue. The selection process is easier when we don’t have to consider the size of the handgun and our ability to conceal it. Since proficiency is an individual issue, how large or small the handgun we choose should be influenced by a several factors that we will discuss:

 Can I maintain combat accuracy while engaging at the high speed associated with close-quarters combat shootings with the selected handgun?

  • Does the handgun I select have sufficient ammunition capacity to minimize the necessity to reload? This can be critical if there is a scenario like a home invasion that may have multiple suspects or a scenario where an individual suspect is hit multiple times but is not stopped.
  • Is the handgun selected suitable for other family members that may have to use the handgun as their primary handgun if you get hurt or injured?
  • If I do carry a concealed handgun (legally), can I use the selected handgun for both home defense and concealed carry?

 Let’s examine the points I outlined above:

 “Can I maintain combat accuracy while engaging at the high speed associated with close-quarters combat shootings with the selected handgun?” For some people, smaller handguns may cause problems of maintaining combat accuracy due to the combination of size, weight and caliber of the handgun. For some people, smaller, lighter handguns chambered for larger calibers can be more difficult to control in rapid fire. In close-quarters, violent scenarios, the rate of fire is extremely rapid and the handgun needs to be controlled under rapid fire. If you can’t control the handgun, you will have a difficult time stopping a threat. I have a simple drill that I have shared in many circles to help us determine if the handgun, caliber and size of the handgun we are using is suitable for us. Here is the simple drill:

 Drill – Place an 8.5X11 inch piece of paper downrange at approximately 4 yards as your target. Use your handgun with the same duty ammunition you are using and assume a one-handed grip on the handgun in a combat ready position (for my system that means arm extended and positioned slightly below your line of sight). Upon signal, engage the target as rapidly as you can with 3-5 rounds.

 If you can’t keep those rounds on the paper working at the speed of engagement that is common in close-quarters combat shootings (generally as rapidly as we can pull the trigger) then the combination of handgun size, weight and particular ammunition loading you are using is not the optimal for you. You can experiment with different loadings or change the particular handgun you have selected to increase performance but you really need to know how you will control the handgun and its ammunition to ensure maximum performance.

 “Does the handgun I select have sufficient ammunition capacity to minimize the necessity to reload? This can be critical if there is a scenario like a home invasion that may have multiple suspects or a scenario where an individual suspect is hit multiple times but is not stopped.” While the need to reload generally isn’t a consideration in the vast majority of combat shootings, we have to analyze this a little further when we are discussing a home defense handgun. In a multiple threat environment which is very common to home invasions, the home defense handgun may have to be used against more than one suspect. If this scenario happens, the person deploying the home defense handgun can be confronted with more than one direction of attack, home invaders that may have their own handguns to use in the home invasion and when the shooting starts, the Sympathetic Nervous System may be fully activated within the person defending themselves and their family. This will, for many people, be the most stressful environment and dangerous environment they have ever faced. Lighting may be low, true situational awareness can be greatly diminished and this could lead to rounds not hitting the suspect(s). If you have a handgun with low capacity, you can be completely out of ammunition within the first 2-3 seconds of the fight. This doesn’t mean how many rounds hit the suspect(s) or that any rounds that hit has actually stopped the suspect(s), this just accounts for how fast our modern semi-automatic handguns can be run dry. So, since size of the handgun doesn’t matter since it will not be concealed, then it would be a wise choice to use a handgun that can allow for a large capacity of rounds to be initially loaded into the handgun to begin with. Better to have the rounds and not need them than be completely dry and have to continue to fight without the use of your home defense handgun. With the amount of great handguns being marketed that allow for ease of control and capacity, you will have great choices to help deal with this issue.

 “Is the handgun selected suitable for other family members that may have to use the handgun as their primary handgun if you get hurt or injured?” It is advisable to ensure that any family member that may be called upon to assist in home defense be trained on the weapon system(s) that will be used in that process. The last thing that you want is to have someone who will either arm themselves with the handgun or take possession of it to be unfamiliar with its operation and not be able to control it under the conditions that will be present. Training is equally important as the handgun itself.

 “If I do carry a concealed handgun (legally), can I use the selected handgun for both home defense and concealed carry?” The answer is YES. BUT, you have to assess if the handgun you are concealing which has a different mission from one that can be used for home defense (I will cover concealed carry mission/role in the next article), is suitable for both missions/roles. As an example, for a multitude of reasons, a person may be carrying a “J” frame, 5 shot Smith & Wesson as their concealed carry handgun. Based upon our discussion above regarding home invasions, you would have to assess if the smaller “J” frame is what you would want to have in your hand when the fight starts in a home invasion scenario. You may need to have a different handgun from the one you are carrying as a concealed carry choice. . Each person needs to evaluate their particular situation and make an informed decision based upon fact and reality.

 Hopefully, this will stimulate more thought on this issue. Until next time, be safe and all my best.

 Lou Chiodo

 A safety tip from Lou Chiodo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tactical Tip Of The Week

Patchlogo

Tactical Tip Of The Week

Over the past couple of weeks, I have read several articles and postings about what handgun someone should use for their fighting handgun. Reading these articles and postings lead me to believe that much work needs to be done to get more useful information out about this critical process. While this process is always a personal one, the decision should be based upon an understanding of the issues involved void of misinformation AND the personal bias of the person who wrote the article or posting.

In this “Tactical Tip Of The Week”, I want to begin a discussion of this issue. By no means will this be all-inclusive. I will begin the process with examining a couple of points and do as much follow up necessary to cover the topic. Its purpose is to stimulate the thought process so that someone’s selection process may be based upon information beyond the perspective of some author’s personal perspective. 

The first step in this process is to be realistic about our selection process. Each individual will have specific requirements based upon a number of factors. Often, the written material on this issue boils down to the author knocking particular handguns because it doesn’t fit THEIR personal needs. My first though is, “So what, that’s your opinion”. Trying to push a particular type of handgun onto someone based upon your personal opinion or bias is not sound advise but just personal opinion that may be based upon erroneous information or improper perspective. Here are a few considerations that must be factored into the selection of a handgun for your personal needs:

  • What is the mission/role of the handgun you choose?
  • How does it fit your hand?
  • Is the caliber of the handgun the right choice for your ability to control it in rapid fire?
  • Is the type of handgun (revolver or semi-automatic) a reasonable choice based upon your personal needs?

Of course, there are other factors but lets look at the couple of critical ones I listed above to start the dialog. I will specifically look at the first one listed above in this “Tactical Tip Of The Week”.

Let’s first look at the mission/role that your handgun will fulfill. Here are common missions/roles that our handgun fulfills for us:

  • Open carry / duty
  • Home defense
  • Concealed carry
  • Deep concealment / undercover/ decorum requires absolute concealment

Each of these missions/roles presents specific requirements. Let’s first examine the “Open Carry/Duty” mission/role for the handgun we select. I have developed a simple matrix to help us sort of what should be considered. Here it is:

“Size vs. Concealment vs. Proficiency” 

Since the mission/role IS open carry/duty, size is not an issue. The length of the grip and barrel will not have an affect on our choice. We are not looking to conceal the handgun so this increases our choices. Many people may have a more difficult time concealing a larger handgun due to their wardrobe requirements, physical sizeor climate where they live. These are not a consideration since the handgun will be exposed to view.

One consideration that WILL BE important is the person’s proficiency with the handgun selected. It is essential that the handgun PROPERLY FIT the individual using it. Here are a couple of points that can affect proficiency with the selected handgun: 

  • The grip of the handgun must allow for proper positioning of the handgun in the user’s hand. The proper positioning of the handgun in the user’s hand leads to the handgun naturally pointing at the target.

 

  • The weight of the handgun should be easy for the user to manager. Strength levels of individuals vary and if the handgun is too heavy for the user, the ability to manipulate it can become an issue

  •  The lower the bore line of the handgun is to the hand, the easier the handgun will be to control. There is generally less muzzle climb between shots when the bore is positioned lower in the hand. This can affect the accuracy of the shooter especially in rapid firing which is typical in close-quarters shootings.

  •  The trigger type of the handgun we select can have an impact on our proficiency with the handgun. There are a variety of trigger types that manufacturers have included in their product line. For semi-autos, there are “double action” triggers – longer, heavier first shot trigger release for the first shot then a shorter, lighter trigger release for the subsequent shots. There are “double action only” triggers that have the same long and heavier trigger release for each shot. These are much like a revolver trigger where each shot is the same via the long, heavier trigger release. Then we have “single action triggers” that are associated with designs like he 1911 handguns. Finally there are striker-fired handguns such as the Glock that have the same consistent trigger release for each shot but are referred to as “safe action”.

 All the factors regarding trigger type selected can have an affect on the individual’s proficiency with the handgun selected. Each trigger type will require its own specific training to gain proficiency. This will be a PERSONAL choice that should be made from PERSONAL experience with the particular handgun being considered when selecting a particular handgun. Before making a final decision about what handgun you select, I HIGHLY recommend actually shooting it. You can try to rent one at a local range or use one that a friend might own. You won’t know how it feels without actually shooting it.

 In the next “Tactical Tip Of The Week”, I will continue with heis discussion and explore the issue of handgun selection further. Meanwhile, I can offer you the ability to use a great resource for a full discussion of this topic. I have teamed with Ian Kinder of Live Safe Academy to participate in a pod cast and a video presentation of this topic. You can access this free resource at www.livesafeacademy.com in the menu where you will find the podcast and video. There are also many other topics covered in podcast or video format there. These are all free resources that cover many topics that are of great importance to those of us who seek knowledge in self-defense and firearms related topics. I will pick up our discussion in our next “Tactical Tip OF The Week”.

 Lou Chiodo

 A safety tip from Lou Chiodo

Tactical Tip Of The Week

Patchlogo

Tactical Tip Of The Week

 I thought I would spend some time discussing the concept of “practice” with you in this “Tactical Tip”. Training time to practice the methods we are going to rely on for defensive purposes is at a premium. Trying to have time to practice competes with the many things that we all face in the course of our daily obligations. Work schedules, family duties, social obligations and, somewhere in between, getting enough sleep to keep up can make our training time to practice get compromised. Remember, your training time should include some measure of physical training, practicing unarmed combat, edged weapon methods (if you carry a knife for defensive purposes) and your firearms training.

 So, how can we go about having time to practice with all the factors that can work against us? One solution (of course there can be others) is to first organize your training into major categories. Something like this:

 Firearms        Physical Training     Unarmed Combat     Edged Weapons

  You pick the categories that you intend to use. Once you have that sorted out, list the various skills (or physical training routine you want) in each category. As an example:

 Firearms

  • Drawing from concealment
  • Reloading (using both hands / primary hand only / support hand only)
  • Target engagement from a holstered position at 2,5 and 7 yards

 This is a short and incomplete list but I think you see what I am doing. This is an important step because we have to have an idea about what we want to practice before we can figure out how we are going to get it all done.

 Once we have the complete list in all categories, we have to determine how much time a day we have to devote to practice. List the days of the week and how much time you have in any given day to devote to practice. Something like this:

 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

30               1 hr         30               0             1 hr     1 hr         0

 You determine a REALISTIC amount of time you can schedule and what days you can practice based upon your particular situation. At this point we have listed the categories, the specific skills we want to practice in those categories and how much time we have on any given day to devote to practice.

  The next step is to determine how YOU want to plug in the categories and the skills practiced in those categories into the days and times you have available for practice. There are many ways to approach this step in the process. Someone may want to devote the entire time in a day to one specific category. Other options are to combine particular categories into one day. This process is entirely up to you.

 In essence, what you are developing is a “TRAINING SCHEDULE”. Why is this important? When we don’t have a plan or schedule, it is very easy to ether not practice or have a disorganized way to practice. It is easy to omit important elements from your practice because you haven’t organized what you need to practice. Also, your practice can become unbalanced and many times certain critical skills can be completely overlooked or not practiced enough because there isn’t a guideline to follow. People tend to practice the things they feel most comfortable with and don’t practice the skills they have the least ability to perform well.

 The key to what I have explained is to create a training schedule that is workable. If you create something that can’t fit into your other life commitments, you will not be able to follow the schedule and you will be back to the beginning. As an example, in the real world, it may take you two weeks to go through a particular category and the elements you have listed in that category. NO PROBLEM!! This isn’t a race. The objective is to be better than you were when you began practicing the elements in the particular category. It beats not practicing or doing incomplete or inadequate practice to develop better skills.

 You are the only one that knows what will work for you. Set up a training schedule that works for you.

A safety tip from Lou Chiodo