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Old October 12, 2012, 11:06 AM   #1
Bob Wright
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Bad Practice!

The range where I shoot has several self (?) defense classes, and many students share range time with me. I have observed two practices that, to me, could prove fatal. In both practices, the shooter is wearing the gun butt to the rear, on his right hip for a right handed shooter.

The first has the shooter facing the target, or assailant, full on. He then draws, right hand for a right handed shooter, from the near hip position and brings the gun up to a point just in front of the breast bone, while bringing his left hand to grip the gun. He then thrusts the gun forward bringing it up to eye level, and fires two quick shots.

The second has the shooter face the target. He then makes a fist with his left hand and clasps it to his right
shoulder, sort of like the old Roman Centurian salute. He then draws one handed, thrusts his pistol forward at eye level and fires two quick shots.

Both of these practices are time consuming. I daresay I could draw my .44 Single action and get off at least two shots before they fire.

Who is teaching this kind of gunfighting?

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Old October 12, 2012, 11:11 AM   #2
Mark In Texas
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I see that a lot in tactical training videos online, as well as plenty of still photos of the fist on the chest bit. I am still looking for an answer to that part.

But I think that both cases might result in a more accurate string of shots that a single action .44. I am not at all doubting your prowess with the weapon, but I don't think either method you describe takes much longer with a semi- auto handgun.
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Old October 12, 2012, 11:20 AM   #3
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I'm not looking for an accurate string of shots. I'm looking to poke my assailant in the gut and blow his heart out.

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Old October 12, 2012, 11:38 AM   #4
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IIRC the 1 handed thing is two fold, 1 it insures the non-firing hand is out of the way, 2 it promotes consistency of body position, and by relation consistency of shot placement. Although IIRC the practice of putting your weak hand in the same spot everytime comes from bullseye shooting, so I don't know how well it translates to defensive pistol.

The two handed thing IIRC is to put the final motion of the pistol perpendicular to the target vs parallel/tangent. If you drive the pistol forward any excess motion should in theory have less effect on accuracy than if you arc/swing the pistol up where over-travel or excess motion could have more effect on accuracy.

That's all based on cobbled together info, so I could be completely wrong, but that's my take on the explanations I've heard.
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Old October 12, 2012, 01:36 PM   #5
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Wright
...Both of these practices are time consuming. I daresay I could draw my .44 Single action and get off at least two shots before they fire...
No, not when properly trained and practiced. Standard at Gunsite, for example, is two rounds center of mass, from the holster and including a step to one side, at seven yards in 1.5 seconds. That is using the standard presentation discussed below.

I described the steps of the standard presentation in this post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Ettin

...[1] You want to achieve a full firing grip before withdrawing the pistol from the holster. You should not have to shift your grip. Throughout the draw stroke, until you are actually going to fire the gun, the trigger finger stays off the trigger, outside the trigger guard and indexed along the frame. 



[2] While the strong hand is moving to grip the pistol, the weak hand is placed flat on the abdomen near the same level as the grip of the pistol. This helps assure that the weak hand isn't swept by the muzzle and also puts the weak hand in position to take grip the pistol over the strong hand.



[3] The pistol is withdrawn straight upwards from the holster, and the muzzle is rotated toward the target after it clears the holster. If using 1911, Browning High Power, or some other gun with a safety engaged, the safety may be disengaged here, but the trigger finger remains off the trigger, outside the trigger guard and indexed along the frame.



[4] When the muzzle is rotated toward the target the strong hand is at about the level of the strong side pectoral muscle and the strong hand is held at or touching the side with the muzzle pointed to the threat. If the threat is very close, within a few yards, the gun may be fired from this position. This is called the retention position. 



[5] At the retention position, the weak hand comes up to assume its part of the grip. The two hands then together extend the gun either fully up to shooting position or partially at a downward angle to the low ready position, depending on the circumstances.



[6] The gun is holstered by following those steps in reverse. I have been taught to follow these steps whenever removing my gun from, or placing my gun in, the holster.

...
In practice, while learning, one starts off doing the slowly. The goal is to become smooth. Quickness comes from being smooth, as does developing the facility for properly performing the task reflexively, on demand.

Here, the presentation is demonstrated by Charlie McNeese, a Range Master at Gunsite Academy.

Here the presentation is demonstrated by Rob Pincus, another well know instructor and a member of TFL.

Here competitive shooter Max Michel is demonstrating the presentation. He's using competition gear, but the technique is essentially the same. Notice early in the video he's shown shooting dominant hand only with his non-dominant hand against his chest.

Holding the clenched fist of the non-shooting hand against one's chest is now the standard technique taught for one-handed (either dominant hand only or non-dominant hand only) shooting. It gets the non-shooting hand out of the way and anchors the upper body for a solid shooting platform.

When properly learned and practiced it's no slower than any other technique for drawing and shooting with one hand. The non-shooting hand is brought to the chest while the gun is drawn and will be in place no later than when the gun is on target.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Wright
...Who is teaching this kind of gunfighting?
Pretty much all the major schools and instructors.
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Old October 12, 2012, 03:11 PM   #6
Mello2u
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Quote:
Bob Wright

I'm not looking for an accurate string of shots. I'm looking to poke my assailant in the gut and blow his heart out.
Frank Ettin's post above covers the explanation of the presentation as taught by those who follow "The Modern Technique of the Pistol" as propounded by Jeff Cooper and memorialized in the book of the same title by Gregory B. Morrison.

Consider that if you do everything right and first to incapacitate a deadly threat, you might still have a fighting threat attacking you for several or many seconds. Even humans with non-functional hearts have fought for several seconds. Several seconds can equal many aimed shots.

In competition with timers and with shooters punching paper targets a few hundredths of a second can make a difference between first place and second. However, I submit that in a self-defense shooting one one hundredth (1/100th) of a second is irrelevant. Competition is good to simulate stress as far as it goes.

You must not expect two shots to center of mass to instantaneously incapacitate the threat. It might do so, but do not stand there in disbelief that it did not.

In addition to your other practice, add practice for moving to cover. Practice follow-up shots.

Unfortunately, many ranges prohibit movement as it is impractical and/or not possible to do with safety concerns and range designs. So if you can not actually practice it, at least put it in your mental expectations.
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Last edited by Mello2u; October 12, 2012 at 03:18 PM.
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Old October 12, 2012, 03:50 PM   #7
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I believe the technique may look time consuming when wearing OWB holsters and standing at the open range, BUT it was designed to to be a very efficient draw and presentation in a variety of cluttered environments and retain maximum control of the pistol.

Sure, it may be a lot more work than a pull and shoot if they threat is only 3 ft away. So if the threat is 20 ft away do you change your draw? I think the intent is to have one fairly simple draw that works for a variety of distances and circumstances and you only practice one method very well. It may not be the fastest at point blank range but it is probably more controlled and accurate at various distances and environments.
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Old October 12, 2012, 05:13 PM   #8
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It will be good for guys like Todd Jarrett, Rob Leatham, Brian Enos, and Eric Grauffel to finally know they've been practicing bad

In all seriousness, this is exactly the way we're all taught in IPSC to draw, and the reasons for it are discussed online in so many places it would be redundant for me to get into them here. Lets just say that guys like Grauffel can probably draw and shoot two accurate shots much faster than anyone can in this particular thread.
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Old October 12, 2012, 06:16 PM   #9
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I thought the initial purpose of keeping the firearm very close to the body was to help keep it from being knocked away easily. The thrusting helps with the aiming itself as you tend to point right at what you want to hit. I'm sure some can pull a .44 SA and pop it old gunfighter style, but not for most. I did see an old guy on a 60 minute type show that was supposed to be the fastest gun alive. He shot out two balloons from the draw and it only sounded like one shot. Unbelievable, they had to show it in slow motion to prove that he actually did it.
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Old October 12, 2012, 06:28 PM   #10
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A few reasons unrelated to defense: economy of motion, plus your sight picture is already established before you reach extension. You don't draw, reach extension, then line your sights up. The other guy will have finished the stage in the amount of time you'll take to do that.

If you extend your arms and lift them to the target, it's likely you'll pass through your sight picture because you must brake your movement. Even if you brake on time perfectly, braking costs time and has to be avoided at all costs.

They teach it as 3 separate movements and you practice each in isolation to master each part. But once you put it together it is one fluid motion and it becomes automatic.
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Old October 12, 2012, 06:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
The first has the shooter facing the target, or assailant, full on. He then draws, right hand for a right handed shooter, from the near hip position and brings the gun up to a point just in front of the breast bone, while bringing his left hand to grip the gun. He then thrusts the gun forward bringing it up to eye level, and fires two quick shots.
That's pretty much how I've been taught to do it, and how I've taught others how to do it. Shot count may vary depending on the drill. Very effective method when done properly (just like anything else). Do what you feel is best.

Good luck.
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Old October 12, 2012, 06:56 PM   #12
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWPilgrim
...it may be a lot more work than a pull and shoot if they threat is only 3 ft away...
At 3 feet, one would fire from the retention position (item [4] of my description in post 5 of the draw stroke).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry
...economy of motion, plus your sight picture is already established before you reach extension...
It actually goes with the flash sight picture. Here's how Greg Morrison describes the flash sight picture (Morrison, Gregory, The Modern Technique of the Pistol, Gunsite Press, 1991, pp 87 - 88, emphasis added):
Quote:
...The flash sight-picture involves a glimpse of the sight-picture sufficient to confirm alignment....The target shooter’s gaze at the front sight has proven inappropriate for the bulk of pistolfighting. However, the practical shooter must start at this level and work up to the flash, which becomes reflexive as motor skills are refined. With practice, a consistent firing platform and firing stroke align the sights effortlessly. This index to the target eventually becomes an instantaneous confirmation of the sight-picture.

...Using the flash sight-picture programs the reflex of aligning the weapon’s sights with the target instantly....There is good reason for sights: one needs them to align the barrel with the target reliably....
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Old October 13, 2012, 12:18 AM   #13
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Take a class.
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Old October 13, 2012, 03:43 AM   #14
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uiqw...eature=related

This is what it looks like in practice.
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Old October 13, 2012, 07:34 PM   #15
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Its all just a dance,.. to each his own. If they are not endangering others on the range, no big deal.
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Old October 14, 2012, 11:40 AM   #16
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Your question proves almost conclusively that you have not been to a tactical training school. Your claim regarding a ".44 single action" finishes the proof.

Drive on, but do not mistake gun games for self-defense preparedness.
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Old October 14, 2012, 12:34 PM   #17
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Have to concur with the others. First if you need to do a quick draw you might want to rethink where you are the next time. Second the draw should be practiced from all the places you ever carry a gun, shoulder, hip, back pocket crossdraw et al.

It has always been my philosophy since I grew up some and got over the Wyatt Earp syndrome that the first good shot wins the fight not the first shot. I practice my draw to make a good draw which means not getting hung up in my clothing or throwing my gun towards the enemy before I have a chance to shoot it. (Do not ask how I know these things) You might beat me to the draw with your gun in the fast draw position but I won;t miss, I'm to old and slow to rely on luck so I better do it right the first time.

When I do a strong side draw or a weak side cross draw from a holster on my hip my weak hand goes to my solar plexus no matter what my shooting position or stance is when the draw is clean and clear or to my clothing to clear a path if wearing clothing that could impede the draw. It doesn't matter if I am going to shoot one handed or 2 hand.

It has been my philosophy since I grew up and got over the Wyatt Earp syndrome of lighting fast draw was mandatory that the first good shot wins the fight not the first shot. I'm to old and to slow to be beating anybody to the draw so I don't dare miss when I do get into shooting position.

Used to be pretty quick when I was younger, I also hit furniture with the barrel while drawing, hit a TV with the gun from 6' away, almost hit the dog and dropped the gun after snagging it on my jacket or a shirt worn outside the belt. Took awhile to realize a good draw was a sure draw not a fast draw that might not leave you in control of the gun. I'd rather find a tree to hide behind while I draw a gun and not do a Dodge Street at high noon thing.

I'm not in uniform anymore and I don't dress to fight boogermen every day, that's why we have cops and the cops better have their guns in hand already if they expect to be facing an armed man with bad intentions.
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Old October 14, 2012, 01:14 PM   #18
Bob Wright
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redstategunnut wrote:
Quote:
Your question proves almost conclusively that you have not been to a tactical training school. Your claim regarding a ".44 single action" finishes the proof.
I have not, nor do I intend to do so.


Quote:
Drive on, but do not mistake gun games for self-defense preparedness.
I do not consider my practice "games" any more than you do. I have a pretty good concept of how a potential hold-up/car jacking attempt might unfold in my area, none of which invloves an assailant displaying a gun from eight or ten feet away from me and allowing me the luxury of a methodical draw, rotate, thrust and fire technique.


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Old October 14, 2012, 01:20 PM   #19
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Dasguy:
Quote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uiqw...eature=related

This is what it looks like in practice.
This is pretty much the way I have trained myself. With the exception of firing the last shot into a downed assailant.

And, yes, I can do this with a Ruger Blackhawk .44 Special single action.

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Old October 14, 2012, 01:29 PM   #20
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I think the misunderstanding (perhaps) centers around perceiving any particular technique as "one size fits all".

Bob: My quite humble suggestion to you is to participate in a good Force-on-Force class. You'll either confirm your suspicions or have your eyes opened. I strongly suspect it will be more the latter than the former.

Since I am admittedly somewhat ignorant regarding single-action revolvers, maybe you can clarify something for me. Are you carrying a SA revolver cocked, or are you cocking upon draw? It seems either technique has its share of "bad practice" issues, but maybe there is something I'm missing?
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Old October 14, 2012, 02:53 PM   #21
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Fascinating discussion.

Why are you so set against a class?
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Old October 14, 2012, 03:52 PM   #22
Bob Wright
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First of all, I want to thank those of you who at least understood my position, rather than condemn me for having the audacity to go against the gunfighter training classes.

Quote:
Why are you so set against a class?
I'm not against a class, but rather the methods taught. As shown in that "Briefcase" clip, the free hand is more than likely required to push aside a gun in your face. While doing this, the gun hand draws and fires.

Quote:
Are you carrying a SA revolver cocked, or are you cocking upon draw?
No, my single action is an old model Ruger with no transfer bar. To carry it cocked is extremely dangerous. My thumb cocks the hammer during the draw. By the time my gun is level at about belt height the hammer is cocked and I press the trigger. There is no pause as in my practice it has become too late for my adversary to "withdraw the threat."

Consider this: I am, or have pumped gas, and am standing beside my Jeep. I am approached by a would be robber/car jacker. He keeps his gun behind his thigh out of my view, then suddenly thrusts his gun in my face. I have not signaled that I am armed, then push aside his gun while drawing and firing one shot, or follow up shots as required.

I have five shots, this leaves three at least for any accomplice. As for being approached by more than two, I won't let myself get into such a situation.

Engaging multiple opponents from ten, fifteen feet away and reloading, gives rise to the likelihood that one may have gone out "looking for a fight." And, continuing to fire raises the question of the possibility that the "self defense" phase has ended.

Much of my pratice and discipline is based mostly on the writings of Col. Charles Askins. He disdained set-piece practices.

I carry a single action because it is the most natural in my hand. I have lived with the single action revovler most of my life, even many years ago considered becoming an exhibition shooter, and am more confidant with it than any other handgun. Plus I know the capabilities of the .44 Special with hollow point bullets.

I once set up a range at Camp Roberts, California, and taught combat shooting with the .45 Pistol, using surprise pop-up targets. This, plus having talked to several folks who have been in life threatening situations and one who did have to shoot, has given me what I believe to be the best practice for my given situation.

Bob Wright

Last edited by Bob Wright; October 14, 2012 at 04:12 PM.
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Old October 14, 2012, 04:39 PM   #23
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Quote:
... I'm not against a class, but rather the methods taught. As shown in that "Briefcase" clip, the free hand is more than likely required to push aside a gun in your face. While doing this, the gun hand draws and fires.
Which is exactly what is taught at classes focusing on close-quarters defense or portions of some other classes. I think perhaps what is happening is an inaccurate assumption on your part: that the techniques you've disparaged represent the whole of what is taught. That's simply not the case. I am unaware of any school teaching a full-extension draw for close-quarters engagements.
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Old October 14, 2012, 04:51 PM   #24
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I've been to a class where this was taught. The instuctor was one of those guys decked out in all the gear and was glock this glock that he was a glock ad, he had no time or use for revolvers at all, plus I thought he winked at my wife. So basically I checked out and did not really give what he was teaching a chance. After revisiting the method I still think it's not pratical in self defense for me.

Many of you may have way more knowledge about it than me, ex military or police and some may have had to shoot a bad guy, but I'm just carrying for self defense and I pratice what I think is pratical.

7' to 12'
First as I reach for my gun eyes on target and background, step left or right.
Next bring gun up to target, fire 2 shoots, move left or right
Fire backup shoots if needed, look for cover.

5' or less
Reach for gun step to side eyes on target
Bring gun on target create motion, push, throw keys, with weak side hand. fire 2 shoots.
Change position kneel, shift/step to side fire back up shoots.

This just works for me in my midset of a self defense, but it's practice, if it came down to it I am not at sure what I would use/do all I know is I got a weapon and I'm prepared to use it to stop a threat. I do know the pratice will build memory.

Last edited by Frank Ettin; October 14, 2012 at 09:48 PM. Reason: vulgarity
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Old October 14, 2012, 05:14 PM   #25
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I agree with B Wright. I am not covinced that 'gunfighter class' is a big help for me. I also carry a revolver and have a limit to shoots I can get on target.

Practice I do think is a big help, so I develop and practice drills I think would work for me. no one method is perfect so I say pactice what you think is practical for you, to be ready and comfortable with my gun is what pratice gives me.
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