View Full Version : CQB Elbow weapon retention?

March 3, 2000, 06:36 PM
I have been seeing this technique for awhile now. You know, the first guy through the door with his weak arm over the top of his pistol. Does anyone here practice this technique? Is it useful when making a entry? EWB

March 4, 2000, 09:35 AM
I think the moderator of this forum, Harry Humphries, is the best one to answer that as I believe it is a technique that he trains personnel in.

March 8, 2000, 03:47 AM
I've used it extensively on building entries and high risk warrants, and it works great. And yes, Harry Humphries is the man to talk to about it, thats who taught me.


Steve Smith
March 8, 2000, 09:23 AM
How exactly does it work? What's it for? Are you talking about using a flashlight with a pistol (crossed at the wrist)or just laying your arm across the pistol (sounds like a good way to hurt your arm!)

March 8, 2000, 12:37 PM
It goes something like this...On making entry to a room you take your weak arm over your hand holding the gun. So your elbow is pointing the same place the gun is. This will allow immediate response from your weak arm to keep threats that are too close away from your gun. A second line of defense in terms of the BG getting to your gun. Hope this helps. EWB

Steve Smith
March 9, 2000, 11:31 AM
I still can't picture it... Can you be more technical with the positions of body parts?

March 9, 2000, 04:10 PM
Please correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't it involve the offhand in a classic Karate high block, except held at face level, while the weapon hand has the pistol tucked in against the body?

March 9, 2000, 04:31 PM
I think SB said it as best as I could. You have your weak arm in a Karate high block. Try this take your strong arm and draw your pistol but keep the pistol close to your strong side. Now with your weak arm hold it about chest high and bend it so the tip of your elbow points at 12 0'clock. So now your weak hand can hold off anyone trying to grab for your gun. That's the best I can explain it. Maybe, Mr. Humphries has some pictures or insights he can share about this technique. EWB

March 9, 2000, 07:27 PM
I've had it explained to me that the technique is used incase there is somone in very close proximity upon room entry. The idea is that you are already in a form of walking "speed rock" if he BG goes for you or your gun.


Steve Smith
March 10, 2000, 04:14 PM
So your off hand is next to your ear?

March 10, 2000, 06:49 PM
So, If you make entry and encounter someone, what do you do with this arm? Do you karate chop him/her? What if he's 10 feet in front of you with a gun pointed at you? Do you shoot from the hip and hope you hit him? or do you swing the weak hand around, quickly establish a two handed grip, and then fire? I cant see the logic with using this technique. Why not maintain a good grip during entry incase you encounter a deadly threat?. It's easy to remove the weak hand to strike or move the bad guy. And if the bad guy happens to be close enough to go for your gun, wouldn't you rather have 2 hands on it then one?
Besides, If the technique is great, why isn't it taught by the professionals?

March 10, 2000, 07:05 PM
First off I'm not a SWAT team member. The trainers at the last "how to clear a building safely" course I attended were. They showed a variety a techniques, presenting the pros and cons of each. To paraphrase them:

The entry is dynamic and fast.

The first guy through the door enters this way. He is to transition to a conventional hold if no threat is in the immediate vacinity. If an immediate threat presents itself past three feet, yes, take the shot as available, but suprise should be on his side, so he should be able to transition to a weaver hold quickly and put aimed shots on target. If a BG is within arms reach you are to react as necessary, placing an emphasis on weapon retention. So block, grab, shove, strike as you need to.

It is important to remember that there is a difference between patrol officers, joe citizen, and special tactics/SWAT team members. The entry team is well trained, well armed, and extremely comfortable working together as a cohesive unit. As such, the first guy in relies on those behind him.

An important note, the SECOND guy in usually gets shot. This has to due with the BG's reaction time.

Frontsight - sort of. The guys I know who do it all hold their arms so that their hand is somewhere between the vacinity of their shoulder to their ear.


March 10, 2000, 09:40 PM
Fwiw, I believe part of the reason to use this position is for in case the first person you encounter going in the door is a hostage (e.g. being used as a shield), or simply someone standing there unarmed and/or where lethal force is not justified. One can then simply pull the person aside or down with the weak arm.

If the unarmed person attacks you (and lethal force is still not justified), you can give him an elbow strike, followed by more strikes, or a takedown move, while retaining your pistol further away from his gun takeaway range.

If lethal force is later justified, one can fire from the retention position for close encounters or transition to the two hand hold for more precision or more distant shots.

As to who teaches the method, Mr. Humphries' GSGI school does, for one...

March 11, 2000, 11:39 AM
most trainers i have been to only adcovate the weak hand be on the belly right above the belt level with the gun in the strong hand firmly at the speed rock position.that way the two hands can imediatly come together for a two handed stance in the event it becomes nessesary to engage.this allows the gun to be protected(retained) and to avoid the weak hand from getting shot off.ouch!!!some martial artist i know automaticly go to the high block position but keep in mind there hand is very high above there head not at gun level where it can get shot off.

March 11, 2000, 04:14 PM
I am only going to present this, not because I am an expert or part of SWAT, but for the sake of discussion and because I also learn from constructive criticism.

First of all, the reason why I think this technique is not widespread is because ballistic shields are preferred. Also, this technique address a very specific issue: Dynamic entry for point in anticipation for close encounters (with the absence of shields).

My take on it is that you have a perfectly good offhand and you can either use it or lose it. The whole idea of the offhand in a guard position (aside from what s_lew has already mentioned) is so it can parry whatever weapon we encounter during entry just long enough to squeeze off a shot. My hand usually floats about one foot in front, between my ears and shoulder, using the length of my forearm as a makeshift shield. From there, I usually either hook with my offhand, or just push. Both techniques are used away from my pistol's line of sight.

Several tools can be used in conjunction with this technique. The police Tonfa for example. Maglights can also work by holding it shoulder level just above your pistol. The most controversial tool is a knife in reverse grip.

Once you enter the room and if there is an enemy that is farther than the technique requires, I often find it easier to just punch my pistol hand out prior to squeezing a shot, rather than to waste additional movements trying to tap my body with my offhand before punching out with two hands. KISS.