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Old June 28, 2013, 02:54 AM   #1
Theohazard
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Using a pistol to fight to your rifle.

I work retail at a gun shop that has a range that also runs classes. So an instructor asked me to help out with an advanced class, and it came time for the rifle/pistol barrier shooting drill. The idea was to start unarmed, shoot from one location, then move to another location to retrieve a magazine for a reload, and make sure to engage all targets at least four times each with only hits on the blue areas. All the students ran it either with a pistol only or started with a rifle and transitioned to a pistol, moving all the way to the barriers closest to the targets in order to accurately engage those targets.

I ran it last and I decided to start with a Condition 3 pistol and move to an unloaded rifle; a pistol is almost always more handy, but I wanted to show that you should use your pistol to get to your rifle. And with the rifle, I didn't have to move forward to be accurate enough to engage the targets effectively without collateral damage.

I have a link to the video below. My excuse for my slow shooting (especially with the pistol; I forgot it wasn't at Condition 1) is that I haven't run a shooting drill like this since I got out of the Marine Corps 13 years ago . But my hits were almost all right on target and my two rifle reloads were good, so I can't complain (though I should have finished the second reload before I popped out from behind cover).

Oh, and I did have three hits on the white no-hit areas on the rightmost target, but that was from shooting through another target; my excuse for that is my home-defense .223 ammo is 50 gr. V-Max which is unlikely to over-penetrate .

Thanks for watching the video and feel free to critique anything you see; I want to get better and the best way is to be willing to take constructive criticism.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xgkhsfyz599c49d/VIDEO0056.mp4
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Old June 28, 2013, 07:36 AM   #2
Al Thompson
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That muzzle blast was something.

Couple of things I observed that you could improve. Loading the pistol, I'd recommend using an over hand stroke as you were essentially fixing a malfunction, I. E., the pistol wasn't working. Nothing wrong with a Israeli grip, but if you are consistent, it helps. Here's Paul Gomez (skip to 5:30) showing a non-diagnostic malfunction reduction:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wt9nQe-6vHI

I'd also recommend getting away from spanking your rifle magazines. When (especially) loading on a closed bolt, Pat Rogers method of "push-pull" is every bit as fast and assures you that the magazine is actually seated. Good video showing you the technique:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEkoiypVbKg
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Old June 28, 2013, 07:37 AM   #3
g.willikers
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Hoo Boy, asking for criticism from this crowd.........
Other than the slow-ish rifle reload, it looked pretty good.
Maybe shoot the rifle without depending on support, that probably wouldn't be there in reality?
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Old June 28, 2013, 11:08 AM   #4
gothcopter
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Seemed a bit weird that you left the pistol behind when you crossed over to pick up the rifle. Even if the pistol was empty, I think I would have held onto it at least until I got my hands on the rifle.
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Old June 28, 2013, 11:10 AM   #5
allaroundhunter
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Quote:
Seemed a bit weird that you left the pistol behind when you crossed over to pick up the rifle. Even if the pistol was empty, I think I would have held onto it at least until I got my hands on the rifle.
The empty pistol is of no use if he is directly moving to the rifle. Eventually he will have to drop it so that he will have two free hands, and there is no use waiting. It would have been slower if he would have tried putting the pistol down on the platform where the rifle was, and if you are in that kind of situation, the last thing that you want to do is take more time to get to a functioning firearm than is necessary.
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Old June 28, 2013, 11:37 AM   #6
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allaroundhunter
Quote:
Seemed a bit weird that you left the pistol behind when you crossed over to pick up the rifle. Even if the pistol was empty, I think I would have held onto it at least until I got my hands on the rifle.
The empty pistol is of no use if he is directly moving to the rifle. Eventually he will have to drop it so that he will have two free hands, and there is no use waiting. It would have been slower if he would have tried putting the pistol down on the platform where the rifle was, and if you are in that kind of situation, the last thing that you want to do is take more time to get to a functioning firearm than is necessary.
True -- under the conditions of the exercise as set up -- as far as speed goes. But if there was still ammunition in the pistol, I would not be inclined to leave a loaded gun behind until I had my hands on another loaded gun. And it didn't look like he shot the pistol to slide lock.
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Old June 28, 2013, 11:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
But if there was still ammunition in the pistol, I would not be inclined to leave a loaded gun behind until I had my hands on another loaded gun. And it didn't look like he shot the pistol to slide lock.
I agree completely. If my pistol still has ammo in it, then it will stay in my hands until and unless I get to my rifle (or other defensive arm that I would prefer). However, if it is empty there is little that it would do for me.

I was responding on the assumption that the pistol was empty as I waited for the video to load. Without my gun going into slide-lock, it would have remained in my hand.
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Old June 28, 2013, 12:00 PM   #8
gothcopter
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Dropping the gun takes the same amount of time no matter where you do it. Any extra time you might take to place it on the platform is a contrivance caused by you not wanting to damage the gun during training.

If you take the empty pistol with you, you can point it at your attackers as you head to the rifle. They may not realize it is unloaded, and seek cover rather than shooting at you. You could also throw it at someone, or whack them upside the head with it.

Suppose you leave the pistol behind, and retreat to the rifle. One of your attackers has a 1911 that has malfunctioned. He advances to your abandoned pistol, loads it with his magazine, and attacks you from your flank with your own pistol while you're engaging the rest of the gang around the left side of the barricade. Yes, VERY unlikely. But if you take the pistol with you, it's impossible.
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Old June 28, 2013, 12:19 PM   #9
allaroundhunter
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Suppose you leave the pistol behind, and retreat to the rifle. One of your attackers has a 1911 that has malfunctioned. He advances to your abandoned pistol, loads it with his magazine, and attacks you from your flank with your own pistol while you're engaging the rest of the gang around the left side of the barricade. Yes, VERY unlikely. But if you take the pistol with you, it's impossible.
I'm not going to worry about my attacker having the presence of mind to pull that, even if we were using the same type of firearm. Heck, chances are I'll be moving from where I drop the pistol regardless of where my rifle is so by your logic should I also field strip it as I drop it so that the attacker has to go through even more trouble to shoot me with my own gun?

I am much more comfortable in a hand to hand situation having both of my hands free or having a knife in one than having an empty pistol occupying one of them.
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Old June 28, 2013, 12:38 PM   #10
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Thanks for the points brought up.

I did shoot the pistol to slide lock; I left it behind because it was completely empty. I like the advice about pointing it toward the threats as I move toward the rifle; it sure can't hurt and it might keep some from advancing.

As far as fixing that initial Type 1 malfunction; I tend to use overhand most of the time; I didn't there because my arms were already extended in my stance and I knew right away that I had forgotten to chamber a round. Good point about consistency though.

I tend to slap the mags home because I've found that on some older mags push-pull doesn't always provide enough force for me, especially if you're loading a full mag on a closed bolt (I always down-load my mags by two because of this, but what if I'm using someone else's mags?). The Marine Corps taught me push-pull, but I've got in the (perhaps bad) habit of slapping them in the years since; I'll start practicing with push-pull again and see how that works for me.

As far as not relying on support; support was there so I used it. At the first position with the rifle, the best way to engage the targets accurately while staying behind cover was to use the support for the rifle. At the second rifle position, there wasn't any good support so I went to the kneeling position behind the barrier. Though I should have fully finished the reload before popping out from behind cover and I could have engaged the first targets on the right from a position that left me less exposed.

Thanks for all the comments!
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Old June 28, 2013, 12:53 PM   #11
gothcopter
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Quote:
so by your logic should I also field strip it as I drop it so that the attacker has to go through even more trouble to shoot me with my own gun
Really? You don't need to resort to straw man fallacies to support your argument. My premise was that dropping the gun later didn't cost any time. Field stripping a 1911 certainly would.

If you feel you'd be better prepared running around in front of (presumably) armed attackers with empty hands rather than an empty gun, then that's what you should do. Admittedly, they could be LESS inclined to shoot you if they saw you fleeing unarmed as opposed to carrying a pistol. Depends on the person really.

Personally I'd consider the pistol useful enough to hang onto until I needed to drop it, whether that be to pick up the rifle or fight hand to hand. As you pointed out, the chances of it making a major difference either way are pretty slim.
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Old June 28, 2013, 01:31 PM   #12
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I think you did fine.

The use-a-pistol-to-fight-to-my-rifle practice probably has very limited real world applications but whatever floats your boat.
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Old June 28, 2013, 04:23 PM   #13
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If you're going to use cover, use cover.

Leaving a knee/leg sticking out from the vertical boundary of barricade/cover is inviting aimed fire and/or simple bad luck. If the weapon's muzzle is running roughly centerline of your body, and the muzzle can "see" the intended threat target, and one of your well balanced legs/knees are sticking out away from the vertical cover/no-cover boundary ... you might wish you'd leaned a bit more from behind the cover.

This is something some folks forget when shooting over a cover/barricade, too. Why expose more of yourself than necessary? Shooting over the top of a corner/outside edge of cover doesn't make not bothering to tuck that one support leg behind cover any less risky.

If you intended for the fixtures in the drill to only be "cover", though ... FWIW, I try to treat "concealment" the same as cover, even if I suspect it might not stop incoming rounds. Might as well work it for everything possible ... and it may really be concealment, after all ... and it never hurts to reinforce good practices to the extent possible.

If this was supposed to be an advanced class of students, why no shooting-while-moving?

Just my thoughts. Not saying any of us are always going to do everything right or advantageous under any & all circumstances.

Creating & running scenario drills gives us the chance to simulate known or expected circumstances; test the skillset & understanding of tactics of our students (and ourselves); and look for potential better ways to do things.

Just some thoughts.
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Old June 28, 2013, 04:33 PM   #14
JerryM
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I cannot imagine when or where I would have to do such a thing.
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Old June 28, 2013, 05:53 PM   #15
Theohazard
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Fastbolt, thanks for the advice. Yeah, I think my use of cover and concealment was good in the first rifle position, but I could have used it better in the second position.

Quote:
fastbolt posted
If this was supposed to be an advanced class of students, why no shooting-while-moving?
Don't worry. The class had plenty of shooting and moving, and also had plenty of rifle to pistol transition drills. This was just one scenario where I chose to shoot it this specific way.
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Old June 28, 2013, 06:33 PM   #16
Theohazard
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I see where some people are coming from when they say this isn't a realistic real-world civilian scenario.

I agree that a situation where five people barged into your home and you had to fight to your rifle to fend them off is highly unlikely, but it's possible. More importantly, it was a fun drill. Rifle-to-pistol transitions are also something most people don't really need to practice, but it doesn't hurt and it's also fun.

But most of the class dealt with more realistic scenarios with just the pistol (El Presidente drills drawing from concealment, shooting and reloading while moving, etc.).
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Old June 29, 2013, 12:59 AM   #17
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I guess that must have been a Hi-Point pistol, cause I wouldn't have dropped my 1911 Gold Cup on the ground like that.

I would have kept the gun, you never know when you might get ammo, but without the pistol you are sol.

Otherwise my only critique is for close range like that I wouldn't choose .223, I'd use my AK and leave the targets in pieces.

PS - it was nice to view a video larger than 4 inches.
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Old June 29, 2013, 01:59 AM   #18
Theohazard
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myusername posted
I guess that must have been a Hi-Point pistol, cause I wouldn't have dropped my 1911 Gold Cup on the ground like that
It was a Glock 19. After shooting hundreds of rounds through it over two evenings of the class with not a bit of cleaning, I love it even more. It conceals well, easy to draw and fire quickly, low recoil, easy to shoot fast and accurately, high capacity, and great reliability and durability (I obviously had no problem dropping it on the concrete after it ran dry).

But yeah, it wouldn't have hurt to bring the empty Glock to the rifle, just in case.
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Old June 29, 2013, 03:06 AM   #19
RBid
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Using a pistol to fight to your rifle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiker 1 View Post
The use-a-pistol-to-fight-to-my-rifle practice probably has very limited real world applications but whatever floats your boat.
Probably a statistical zero, yes. Among other problems, the premise requires a bad guy following you as you're shooting at him.
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