Category Archives: firearms

The perils of holsterless carry

“The gun was in his waistband not holstered and loaded. The gun slipped down his leg, he attempted to grab it, and was somehow manipulating the weapon and discharged the firearm,”

Sgt. Akeem Turnbull with Lovejoy Police

https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/clayton-county/man-mishandles-firearm-shoots-himself-3-others-ga-police-say/3EOZM4RZLBCTNHLKUPQOCJSTOQ/

Hit himself and three other people with one Unintentional Discharge. A modern day William Tell.

https://youtube.com/clip/UgkxZfZu2hpwPow-gMthA-ucaBLUnIqMPB9A

Taurus 856 – First Impressions

#wheelgunwednesday

FTC Notice: I purchased the gun and ammo with my own money.

Curious to see if the Quality Control at Taurus has gotten better, I purchased a Taurus 856 recently. I specifically did not buy the Executive Grade because I wanted a two inch snub.

My initial impression is favorable. Its trigger is good; smooth and not excessively heavy. Definitely comparable to my old S&W Model 36 no dash. The machining is good and the sights are much better than the ones on my old Model 36, although that’s not saying much.

The first live fire range session wasn’t extensive but it was good. It shot to the point of aim and grouped as well as could be expected given the lighting conditions at the indoor range I went to.

The first thing I did was to shoot the LAPD Retired Officer Qual as a warmup. Then I shot the same course with the Model 36 as a comparison. They performed comparably.

Next, I shot the 856 at 5, 7, and 15 yards to compare Point of Aim with Point of Impact. The 15 yard Point of Impact was fine. The flyer is from the shot that I fired just as the shooter next to me touched off a round from his Glock 27. Indoor range operators prefer to put two shooters next to each other even when there are only two shooters on a 12 position range. Why this is I have never been able to figure out but it’s a consistent pattern.

Taurus has apparently changed the stainless steel they use. The 856 didn’t get too hot to handle after 25 rounds the way the last stainless Taurus snub I bought 20 years ago did. It was no warmer than the Model 36 at the end of the session.

The rubber stocks were noticeably more comfortable than the splinter grips of the S&W. I’ll be putting a different set of stocks on the 36 for future range work.

HKS speedloaders for the Colt Detective Special (DS-A) fit the 856 fine. So do my Safariland speedloaders but those are quite hard to find now.

The orange safety ring included with the revolver has held up to several hundred snaps in dry practice. This is also an improvement. I destroyed the last one within a few dozen snaps.

There’s a back story on the purchase. During the bioweapon plague, some friends gifted me the funds for a pistol as a birthday present. Originally, the plan was to get a red dot equipped pistol, probably a SCCY. However, I’ve decided to return to my roots so I bought the snub instead since there are plenty of red dot instructors but not many snub instructors actively teaching. I’ll be using the Taurus for the four month Snub Nose Revolvers – Hands-on Shooting Tier of my Patreon page. Link to Patreon page That should be a good test of its durability, accuracy, and handling qualities. Many thanks to my friends for the gun, I’m really enjoying it so far.

So far so good. Next live fire session will be at my gun club so I won’t have anyone touching off rounds next to me and I can test the gun more extensively.

Gun Training from Friends and Relatives

This is a good example of why “My uncle is a veteran and he taught me to shoot” isn’t the hot ticket.

Watching the video in slow motion and looking at the track of the hits, it’s fairly clear that every hit on the roof and back of his car was created by the homeowner. Negative Outcome. There’s a hit on the side glass that probably came from the criminals and started it all.

This story was sent to me by a friend from the original tip on Gun Free Zone https://gunfreezone.net/thats-a-lot-of-dumb-luck-and-spent-brass/. I agree with this commentary.

He is very lucky to have survived and to have not been charged with a crime for filling a neighborhood with bullets.

Suppressive fire has its place in a combat zone but not in your own neighborhood.

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.

Teaching the Snub Nose Revolver

After a decade long hiatus, I’m back to teaching the snub nose revolver. This time it will be in a virtual format on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor/membership

The Snub Nose Revolvers – Hands-on Shooting Tier is a four month project to develop shooting and gunhandling skills for snub nosed revolvers. It will be based on the principles and techniques of the Snub Nose classes I taught for decades and the two DVDs I made about snubs. Also included will be examples of what went right and wrong in several real life incidents involving snubs.

Each Monday an overview of activities and necessary preparations for the week will be published. Three additional more detailed posts will follow each week. There will be one live fire session each month of no more than 50 rounds. The live fire will be compatible with either indoor or outdoor ranges.

Noted author and former CIA paramilitary operative Ed Lovette, who wrote the original book about the snubby, opined that information about running revolvers in general and snubs in particular is getting harder and harder to come by. I’ve shot snubs in a wide variety of formats, including winning more than two dozen IDPA Championships shooting one. Hopefully, I’ll be able to add a little to the literature and practicum by creating this Tier. I hope that those who own snubs will join my Patreon Tier and grow your skills.

I’m also pleased to announce that I will writing a short skill development shooting exercise for each issue of the Detective Gatzette, the magazine of Snub Noir, the snub aficionados’ organization. https://snubnoir.com/ Snub Noir is a unique group and those who like snubs will find membership useful and enjoyable.

VP 40 In the News

https://www.9and10news.com/2022/07/12/troopers-respond-to-accidental-firearm-discharge-at-garfield-twp-restaurant/pic/1488411/

Don’t hang your gun on the hook when you’re using the facilities. This story is a good illustration as to why. Pictures this detailed are seldom available.

Imagine if you were changing your baby’s diaper at the Koala Kare station when his gun went off. Your baby might not be the only one who needed changing.

Troopers say a report has been filed with the prosecutor’s office for review.
Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make (the book)

https://store.payloadz.com/go/?id=2617872

Using Negative Targets

The Top 5 Missed Shots in Handgun Shooting

  1. The first shot.
  2. The last shot.
  3. The first shot after reducing a stoppage (which includes a reload).
  4. The shot after an Unintentional Discharge (it’s missed because it’s not fired).
  5. The first shot after the transition to another target.

The first shot is easily the most missed shot of all. Walking rounds into the target is a very common exercise. However, as Theodore Roosevelt wrote in his 1893 book Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail https://www.amazon.com/Ranch-Hunting-Trail-Theodore-Roosevelt/dp/1414505108 :

No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.

If the gun isn’t indexed into the eye-target line with adequate precision, relative to the distance involved, the first shot is likely to miss. Brian Enos called the necessary personal characteristic “visual patience.” Get the gun adequately aligned prior to pressing the trigger.

The last shot is often missed due to lack of follow-through. There always needs to be one more sight picture than rounds fired. Follow-through may be the least understood of all the Fundamentals of Pistol Shooting. https://thetacticalprofessor.net/2021/11/05/fundamentals-of-pistol-shooting-part-1/

A stoppage is any unintended interruption in the cycle of operation. Whether that’s a malfunction or simply running out of ammo is irrelevant. Any stoppage reduction is a complex motor skill. That means a combination of gross and fine motor skills. Once the stoppage is reduced, we need to transition back into the fine motor skill only (trigger manipulation) mode before we fire the next shot.

After an Unintentional Discharge, the next shot is frequently not fired at all, which is why it’s missed. Periodically, a POlice dashcam or badgecam will record an officer firing one shot, then clearly displaying some type of startle response, and then immediately reholstering. That means it was an Unintentional Discharge, even if shooting was Justifiable under the circumstances. In competition, shooters will occasionally have a UD and then look at the pistol in a dumbfounded way. If they’re not Disqualified by the Range Officer, they will eventually get back to shooting but it’s often several seconds later.

Transitioning from one target to another and then making a good hit with the first shot is difficult. Very few people ever practice it, which increases the difficulty. It’s a sacrilegious view, but my observation is that when someone who isn’t a highly experienced and capable shooter (GM, M, A, Expert) moves their eyes to another target ahead of the sights, the first shot is going to be a miss. If the target is in an unexpected location, this is even more true.

Understanding the Top 5 Missed Shots makes them easier to avoid and shoot gooder.

The following isn’t related to the 5, but it’s an interesting comment from a previous post on my blog.

If you can’t be bothered to expend fifteen minutes a week in dry practice, two extra magazines on your person are most likely meaningless.

Surgical Speed Shooting Summit 2022 – An Overview

Twenty-one years ago, Andy Stanford researched and wrote the book Surgical Speed Shooting https://www.amazon.com/Surgical-Speed-Shooting-High-Speed-Marksmanship/dp/1581601433 about combat shooting technique. He began teaching classes based on what his research had found. A number of people in the industry, myself included, became part of a group Andy formed to spread his knowledge.

Fast forward to June 2022. Andy organized a four day event, the Surgical Speed Shooting Summit, https://www.tacticalresponse.com/products/surgical-speed-shooting-summit to further update what he learned subsequent to writing his book. The event was held at the classroom and range of Tactical Response https://www.tacticalresponse.com/ in Western Tennessee. The purpose of the Summit was not only to update Surgical Speed Shooting but also to bring together a group of some of the top trainers in the industry, many of whom were not SSS related, to add their expertise to the knowledgebase. The final group of instructors was:

  • John Holschen
  • John Hearne
  • Greg Ellifritz
  • Michael Green
  • Claude Werner
  • Michael DeBethencourt
  • Allan McBee
  • John Johnston
  • Karl Rehn
  • Don Redl
  • Lee Weems
  • Melody Lauer

The first day started with a half day update of what Andy has gleaned about combat pistol shooting since the book’s publication. For the second half of the day, the group went to the range to shoot a few drills and see some targets Andy has developed for Surefire https://www.surefire.com/.

Day Two was spent at the Tactical Response classroom with each trainer giving a presentation of his or her own choosing. The topics all related to personal defense but did not have to be specifically on Surgical Speed Shooting.

On the third day, 47 students arrived at the Tactical Response range to begin training with the 12 instructors who had been divided into three different groups of four instructors each. The students were divided into equal sized groups based on an initial skill evaluation by shooting one of the Surefire drills. The student groups received 2 hours of training each by each instructor group. The instructors divided their two hour time frames among themselves to that the students received 12 total short blocks of instruction.

The final day’s range activities for the students were similar to the third day’s but the instructor groups were reorganized and the instructors had the option to present different material than they had on the previous day.

Finally, everyone returned to the Tactical Response classroom for a wrap-up of the Summit’s events. The instructors and students invidually gave examples of two things that they had personally taken away from the Summit’s training and presentations. As each person gave their take-aways, they were presented with a certificate testifying to their attendance at this historic event.

More about each day’s activities in the next few posts.

Revolver History – Merwin & Hulbert

#wheelgunwednesday

The Merwin & Hulbert revolvers of the Old West period aren’t very well known today. Forgotten Weapons has an excellent video about them.

The innovative engraving style and extensive use of nickel plating were unique features of their revolvers. Being able to eject the empty cases while keeping unfired rounds to do a tactical reload made them an excellent choice for gunfighting.