Category Archives: concealed carry

How Do I Choose Which Carry Gun?

One of my Patrons https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor?fan_landing=true&view_as=public sent me the following message. With his permission, I’m going to answer it for a broad audience.

My question for you is how do you decide which gun you carry most often. … I know from following you over the years that you carry various pistols and revolvers from time to time. I’m just curious how you decide which gun you carry most often.

That’s a pertinent and insightful question.

The short answer is that I don’t change guns very often. My EDC handguns all are sufficient to deal with what I consider my most likely threat profile. Because that’s so, I don’t feel the need to scale my armament up and down.

I will change my gun to fit different mission profiles. As a professional trainer, my mission profile is based on what I’m teaching not a varying threat profile. For instance, when I was working on my LCP Project, I carried an LCP for almost a year. When I began the Snub Nose Revolvers – Hands-on Shooting program on Patreon, I switched back to carrying a J frame. During the program, I would occasionally alternate between a S&W 317 and Taurus 856 to evaluate their differences, but that was about all.

When I end the Snub Nose Revolvers program at the end of this year, I will start the Subcompact Pistols – Hands-on Shooting program. For that program, I’ll switch from a J Frame to a Glock 42 that Glock sent me for evaluation in the program. The LCP will also go back into service as another example of subcompacts.

Handguns have different triggers, index onto the target at different points, and even draw differently. The difference between where the Glock 42 indexes onto the face of a target vis-à-vis the 317 is quite noticeable. Obviously, the triggers are different, even with the NY1 trigger spring I installed in the 42.

For simplicity sake, I prefer to stay with the same system day to day. When I do change, I do an hour’s worth of dry practice before venturing out with a new carry piece. How I can make the gun perform is much more important to me than aspects of caliber and ‘firepower.’ It’s just a handgun, folks. As John Farnam says, in the end they’re all just pathetic popguns. I’m a firm believer that “It’s the ‘finest light cavalryman in the world,’ not the arrow,” even when one arrow isn’t quite as pointy as the other.

Dolled Up Defenders Match

#wheelgunwednesday

A few weeks ago, The Complete Combatant http://www.thecompletecombatant.com/ held the Dolled Up Defenders event. Part of it was a match for real deal carry guns. Here’s my Patreon post about the match. This post is available for everyone not just Patrons.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/74194384

Negative Outcome from Holsterless Carry

“A man has died after a gun accidentally discharged while in the pocket of a sweatshirt”

Brown County Sheriff’s Office

https://www.wlwt.com/article/brown-county-ohio-accidental-gun-discharge-death/41854707

The man was found dead by his girlfriend in the backyard with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. That single wound resulted in his demise.

“Authorities say a 9mm handgun was found in Hauser’s front sweatshirt pocket, with a single shell casing found in the same pocket of the sweatshirt. Officials added that fabric from the sweatshirt was found to be lodged in the [ejection port] of the firearm and the gun appeared to have gone off while inside the pocket of the sweatshirt.”

I have carried double action revolvers using a Barami Hip-Grip with an uncovered trigger guard for many years without incident. As my colleague Chuck Haggard has noted, both the trigger and cylinder have to move through a relatively long cycle to make the gun fire in that configuration. Striker Fired Autoloaders are a completely different story. As Massad Ayoob noted many years ago:

“What’s the good thing about a Glock? It’s easy to shoot. What’s the bad thing about a Glock? It’s easy to shoot.”

It takes very little to make a Striker Fired Autoloader go off. Holsterless carry with them is foolish. Numerous manufacturers make trigger guard covers for SFAs. If you need a minimalist carry option, at least use one of them.

P&S ModCast 306 – Optimal Is Not Universal

I rarely do podcasts because I don’t like hearing myself talk. But, legendary lawman Chuck Haggard talked me into joining Primary & Secondary ModCast 306 – Optimal Is Not Universal. The replay is up now. https://www.spreaker.com/user/primaryandsecondary/p-s-modcast-306-optimal-is-not-universal

The podcast mostly focused on a subject I’m always interested in, small pistols. It was refreshing to hear some viewpoints that were counter to “it’s only an arm’s length gun.” As I like to say:

It’s only an arm’s length gun if you’re incompetent.

In particular, a couple of discussion points struck home for me. The first was Chris Cypert’s explanation of how placement of gunshot wounds affects performance. Chris was a Special Forces medic and his experience with treating gunshot wounds is extensive. This segment begins at 46 minutes and is very worthwhile to listen to.

The other point I really liked was Darryl Bolke’s explanation of ‘towel carry’ for small pistols. I learn something new every day.

It was an interesting evening of discussion and many thanks to Matt Landfair of P&S for having me on.

Chicago Concealed Carry in the news

It pains me that my hometown of Chicargo has now become infamous as perhaps the murder capital of the world. The situation is so outrageous that I give thanks regularly I no longer live there.

Nearly 50 Shot During Weekend in Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/11/08/nearly-50-shot-during-weekend-in-mayor-lori-lightfoots-chicago/

The good news about Chicago now is that Private Citizens have the legal capability to carry firearms for personal protection.

Elderly retired firefighter with concealed carry [License] shoots Chicago robber dead: police

https://www.foxnews.com/us/chicago-elderly-man-firefighter-shoots-kills-robber

Chicago conceal carry [License] holder guns down car thief after being shot at in the street

https://www.foxnews.com/us/chicago-licensed-carry-holder-guns-down-car-thief-response-being-shot

It’s always entertaining when the media uses the term “guns down.” Makes it sound like an unlawful killing, even when it’s not.

Those of us who wanted to carry when I lived there either had to do so illegally or go through some rigmarole such as working an unpaid shift as a Cook County bailiff each month.

The story about the elderly firefighter defending himself pleases me so much that I’m offering Concealed Carry Skills and Drills and Indoor Range Practice Sessions along with a face target of the notorious BTK murderer for only $7.99. As always, my most important work, Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make is included at no extra cost.

Link to package:

https://www.payloadz.com/go?id=3384555

The custom face target, included as a PDF in the package.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Purchase of any book includes Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make.

STOPP Presentation at Rangemaster Tactical Conference

The direct purchase link for the STOPP Presentation is:

https://www.payloadz.com/go?id=3381307

Fundamentals of Pistol Shooting (Part 2)

#fridayfundamentals

Fundamentals of Pistol Shooting (Part 1)

The first Fundamental of Pistol Shooting is:

  • Grip the pistol firmly.

The proper grip for any handgun should accomplish several objectives:

  1. Maximize our hand friction on the handgun. The way we prevent the handgun from moving around in our hand(s) is simply via friction. Therefore, the more hand surface we have in contact with the gun, the more friction we can achieve.
  2. Minimize the gun’s motion during recoil by stabilizing the supporting joints, principally the wrists, when the gun fires.
  3. Reduce the distance between the line of the handgun’s bore and our hands to the smallest amount possible. This diminishes the rotational torque generated by the handgun upon firing.

After establishing the appropriate grip, a series of index points can be used to feel when the grip has been properly achieved. Especially in defensive encounters, there is no time for visually checking whether the proper grip is in place. Having a set of index points allows a shooter to establish a proper firing grip in the holster and during the drawstroke to know that the grip is as it should be.

A previous blog post covered the grip in detail with illustrations. Click the image below to go to that post.

There have been endless discussions and opinions about how tightly to grip the pistol. These range from the ‘convulsive’ grip of the Fairbairn-Sykes-Applegate technique to the percentages of grip with both hands as explained by the Modern Technique/IPSC/USPSA school of thought.

Probably the easiest way to think about it is to grip the pistol as tightly as you would a hammer or baseball bat. Both hammers and baseball bats require you to grip the tool tightly enough to prevent it from moving in your hand before, during, and after an impact. That’s the same thing we’re trying to accomplish with the pistol.

The next segment will cover ‘Visually index the pistol on target.’

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Purchase of any book includes Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make.

STOPP Presentation at Rangemaster Tactical Conference

The direct purchase link for the STOPP Presentation is: https://www.payloadz.com/go?id=3381307

Skills involved in the Oakland Incident (Part I)

#saturdayskills

An aspect of POlice Use of Deadly Force incidents is that they tend to receive more media and other coverage than successful Private Citizen incidents. Captain (Ret.) Ersie Joyner’s gas station shootout in Oakland https://www.ktvu.com/news/retired-oakland-police-captain-wounded-1-other-killed-during-gas-station-gun-battle is no exception. Given the media’s bias, if this had occurred to a lawfully carrying Private Citizen, it’s unlikely it would have received the degree of favorable coverage it has. The amount of coverage works in our favor when viewing it from the standpoint of Lessons to be Learned.

The surveillance video of the incident gives us a very definite view of the skillset Captain Joyner used. It also gives us the opportunity to wargame other skills or tactics that would have been desirable.

  1. Wait for an opportunity to escape or counterattack
  2. Create distance while maintaining visual contact with assailants
  3. Establish grip
  4. Make the Draw Decision
  5. Draw to the eye-target line
  6. Engage Mr. Red, preferably with at least two rounds
  7. Transition 60 degrees and engage Mr. Black, preferably with at least two rounds
  8. Actual Positioning – pursue into the open
  9. Alternative Positioning – pursue to a position of cover or at least concealment
  10. Desirable Positioning – create even more distance
  11. Desirable Positioning – take cover

Tasks 3, 5, 6, and 7 constitute the solution to the shooting aspects of the incident. Individually, they are very similar to the 6 and 10 foot Stages of the Louisiana Qual Course video.

Just as with the off-duty incidents chronicled in Real Shootouts of the LAPD https://realshootoutsofthelapd.com/, it’s not hard to picture a Private Citizen becoming involved in exactly this same scenario. If Kalifornia had a Shall Issue system for issuing licenses/permits to carry handguns, it’s probable that more such Outcomes would occur.

An interesting aspect of the incident was that despite three robbers physically searching the victim, his concealed handgun was not discovered. This seems unusual. A distinct possibility is that he carried a small pistol in his pocket. At the moment he began to access his handgun, his elbow position is much more consistent with a pocket draw than either an Appendix or Hip carry draw.

Task 3, Establish Grip, is the most time consuming part of the drawstroke. Surreptitiously being able to Establish Grip while creating distance and prior to making the Draw Decision would explain how Captain Joyner was able to Draw and Engage so quickly. The ability to Establish Grip without making the motions commonly associated with drawing a pistol is one of the strengths of pocket carry. In many cases, it’s possible to shield an attacker’s view of Establishing Grip by slightly blading one’s body, although Captain Joyner didn’t do that in this case.

Captain Joyner must be exceptionally coordinated because when executing Task 2, Create Distance, he was actually able to take three steps backward without tripping over his own feet. He was able to do this even while he was in the process of Establishing Grip. Humorously speaking, since we’ve been told that tripping over one’s feet when walking backward is almost inevitable, this was an absolutely amazing display of physical prowess. In actuality, using a dragging shuffle step probably would have been more of a giveaway to his assailants than simply walking backward.

The mother of the deceased robber made the statement to the press, “death was not the answer. many people act unruly and even commit crimes in young adulthood, but go on to lead productive lives.” Captain Joyner clearly felt that his own death was not the answer and good for him for making that decision. Even if a criminal doesn’t intend to shoot you, it doesn’t mean they won’t have an Unintentional Discharge and kill you ‘by accident.’

More about the skills involved and how to practice them will be covered in a future Part II.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF) — Note: bad links fixed

Purchase of any book includes Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make.

STOPP Presentation at Rangemaster Tactical Conference

The direct purchase link for the STOPP Presentation is https://www.payloadz.com/go?id=3381307

The LCP Project – Ill-Annoy CCL Qualification (5 yard stage)

Continuing The LCP Project, this video shows the 5 yard stage of the Illinois (Ill-Annoy) Concealed Carry License Qualification shot with a Ruger LCP. This stage was shot by drawing from a concealed holster, although a concealed draw is not required when shooting the Qualification to obtain a CCL. The 10 required shots were fired as 3 shots in 3 seconds 3 times. The 10th shot was a shot to the face in 3 seconds.

The 5 yard face shot reminds me of something my Dad once said to a would be robber, “Do you want it in the belly or the teeth?” The robber suddenly remembered an appointment he was late for and left. No shooting was necessary in that incident. My shot placement on the Qual was unintentional but brought back a memory.

Ammo for the LCP Project was furnished by Ammoman https://www.ammoman.com/

The 10 yard stage video can be seen at https://youtu.be/3EKAoExWDE0

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Purchase of any book includes Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make.

STOPP Presentation at Rangemaster Tactical Conference

https://www.payloadz.com/go?id=3381307

The LCP Project – Ill-Annoy CCL Qualification

The Ruger LCP is a far more capable gun than it’s given credit for. The LCP Project is intended to show what the gun is capable of and some modifications and equipment that are useful when carrying and shooting it.

This video shows the 10 yard stage of the Illinois (Ill-Annoy) Concealed Carry License Qualification shot with a Ruger LCP. The target was a standard B-27 with the addition of a legal size sheet of paper. The sheet of paper is the size of the scoring area of the Illinois POlice qualification that the CCL Qual is derived from. The score on the legal sized sheet was 100%. Note that when the Course is shot to obtain a CCL, hits anywhere on the silhouette count and only 21 hits (70%) are required to pass.

Ammo for the LCP Project was furnished by Ammoman https://www.ammoman.com/

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Purchase of any book includes Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make.

STOPP Presentation at Rangemaster Tactical Conference

https://www.payloadz.com/go?id=3381307

Defense of Others

#fridayfundamentals

‘Self-defense’ is only one subset of Personal Protection. Defense of Others is the other subset. September’s Armed Citizen column of the NRA Journals Shooting Illustrated – September 2021 has two incidents involving Defense of Others. Both occurred in public places outside the home. One was successful, the other Not So Much. Defense of Others situations often do not fall in the 3 shots, 3 seconds, 3 yards paradigm.

In the successful incident, a man and woman were in a Madera, California Wal-Mart parking lot. The man was attacked, the woman pulled out her pistol from her car, fired one round, and dropped the attacker in his tracks at 10 yards. In the words of commentator Raymond:

In the Not So Much successful incident, Calvin ‘Mad Dog’ Gonnigan shot at three people in Chicargo who were celebrating Independence Day. A nearby Concealed Carry Licensee shot at ‘Mad Dog’ but only peripherally wounded him several times. ‘Mad Dog’ left but then came back to murder one of his victims by shooting her in the face and even further seriously wounding the other two victims. Eventually, the POlice arrived from the District Headquarters, which was a block away, and took ‘Mad Dog’ into custody.

Photo: Chicargo POlice Department

Madera County is largely rural. It’s a likely bet that the woman had practiced her aim before. Chicargo, being an urban area, is unlikely to result in much practice. That’s probably why ‘Mad Dog’ did most of his shooting at close range and probably why the CCL was not particularly successful. The Illinois qualification course can be passed by only hitting one shot out of 10 at 10 yards and that only has to hit an arm of the silhouette target.

For those who carry a gun not only to protect themselves but also to protect their loved ones and friends, getting in a little structured practice can be useful, maybe even life saving. Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com has a series of drills that could be done even in Chicargoland. And Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make is included with your purchase.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Purchase of any book includes Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make.

STOPP Presentation at Rangemaster Tactical Conference

https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2021/09/14/stopp-presentation-now-available/ https://www.payloadz.com/go?id=3381307