View Full Version : AAR by CHL holder who stopped robbery

Bartholomew Roberts
December 20, 2011, 04:58 PM
This is a fairly old incident from October 2009 and the original post is from January 2010:

The short synopsis is this: The man was visiting with friends outside when a stranger walked up with a revolver and annouced a robbery. He herded everyone inside and had them prone out on the floor. He ordered them to get out wallets, watches, etc. During a brief distraction, the CHL managed to get his 1911 out of the holster and slide it under his chest. Bad guy walks over to him and pull his jacket up to get wallet and sees empty IWB holster. He asks where the gun is, CHL says he left it in the car because he was having some drinks. Bad guy expresses disbelief.

As he pulls the CHL up by the jacket from behind, the CHL turns into him with the 1911. Bad guy fires two shots which only graze the torso; but hit the CHL in the left and then right hand. CHL fires two rounds as the bad guy retreats towards the door and has a stoppage (turns out with his hands messed up he failed to activate the grip safety on the 1911). He manages to clear the stoppage despite being shot in both hands; but the bad guy has fled by that point. CHL was shot in the chest, left hand, down the right hand and out the right arm, and his stomach was grazed.

Original link has more details as well as pictures and the update on the case and conviction of the robber.

From my perspective, I thought it was interesting because it highlighted a few common subjects we discuss here:

1. CHL never realized he had been shot in the chest until after the fight was over and still doesn't know when that happened. Also didn't realize initial hits to hands were as bad as they were.

2. CHL initially thought the "robbery" was a joke. It seems that disbelief or "this can't be happening to me" is a pretty common feature in violent assaults.

3. CHL took multiple hits; but stayed in the fight and chased away the threat.

4. Finally, I just thought it was a good realistic look at how an actual self-defense shooting happened and might be useful in challenging some preconceived notions about those events.

December 20, 2011, 07:55 PM
CHL fires two rounds as the bad guy retreats towards the door and has a stoppage

Classic. Bill Jordan warned readers of No Second Place Winner about this very thing with 1911 grip safety equipped guns should one be injured during a gunfight. Jordan heavily favored revos over automatics.

Their limited round count didn't seem to concern Jordan...:D

December 20, 2011, 07:55 PM
Thanks ... I hadn't seen that one and the original post/AAR was quite informative ...


Double Naught Spy
December 21, 2011, 12:39 AM
2. CHL initially thought the "robbery" was a joke. It seems that disbelief or "this can't be happening to me" is a pretty common feature in violent assaults.

Yes. You can be the fastest gun in the west, but your .8 second draw and fire that hits a bullseye is quickly negated by the 1, 2, 3, 5, 10 second delay or longer.

They talk about the Tueller drill's 21 foot rule, but that only applies to when the intended victim already knows he is going to be a victim and has already pre-decided how to respond to the staged threat of the drill.

Take this incident of a sort of Tueller drill in real life. Felony chase, officers out of their cars (and apparently with guns drawn as they issue commands, and the suspect leaps from his car, stumbles, and manages to travel 22 feet while making slashing and stabbing gestures, and manages to stab one officer in the face before officers started shooting...about 3 seconds of reaction time on the part of officers.

The Tueller Drill says 21 feet about about 1.5 seconds and that is for an officer to draw and fire into the charging suspect (simulated). Inside of 21 feet, and the suspect almost always wins, even when the suspect is a slow guy like me who doesn't cover 21 feet that quickly, I can still cause harm to the intended victim (I nearly always manage to get "shot" but usually at about the time I am in the process of 'stabbing' the intended victim).

This officers didn't have to draw their guns as they were already drawn as would be procedure for a felony stop. Ideally, the guy should never have gotten close to the officers, but unlike the Tueller drill parameters, the officers did not know when the guy exited his car that he would charge officers (probably thinking he would surrender, prone out, or try to run away). Even once they saw him moving fast, stumble, and turn towards them and producing the knife, they all still failed to fire on the suspect (this isn't what was expected and they were probably going through the whole "this can't really be happening" mental cycle before determining that it was and deciding to fire). Critical time was lost not in the ability of the officers to have their guns ready and to fire on the suspect, but in the mental processing of trying to come to grips with what was occurring and determining the appropriate response. I find this really interesting because in the Tueller Drill, the majority of the time taken up involves the draw sequence. Pulling the trigger takes a small fraction of a second. The whole mental aspects of realization of what is going on and determining the response that is present in real life situations isn't present in the Tueller Drill.

Given what happened here, maybe the Tueller Drill parameters aren't really appropriate to apply to real life situations. Depending on when you want to say the attack started, then the officers took 3-6 seconds to pull the trigger. Imagine how much longer it would have taken to fire if their guns were holstered.

As with the OP story, once it is determined that the situation really has gone south, critical and precious seconds are often (usually?) already gone.

December 21, 2011, 10:18 AM
The thing about the Tueller Drill is that so many have somehow warped it into, "shoot somebody past 21 feet and it isn't justifiable!". I hear this a lot, from people who should know better. Tueller really establishes a MINIMUM of 21 feet for shooter safety, and that is still not a guarantee.

It is also not likely to be attainable in real life, unless an attacker is an idiot. A threat with a room temperature IQ won't show ill intent sufficient to justify SD until he thinks he has attained a dominant position. That will usually be well inside 21 feet.

This is where I throw in another pitch for at least basic martial arts training. If the attacker is close, and can stab or slash while taking the first hit(s), would it not be good to have some trained muscle memory for getting off the line of attack, offering him poor target angles, and parrying with the weak hand (while shooting with the strong hand)?

If I can pull a matador, and get him to charge past, that's ideal.

If I can't, but can deflect his knife hand forearm or the dull side of his knife, directing his initial strike past me, that is almost as good.

If I can't do that, but can take his cuts to the outside of my weak forearm - the side that has fewer blood vessels, and does not have the tendons that let me flex my fingers, that is not good... But it is much better than taking the knife in my neck or torso. Or, in the example cited, face.

December 21, 2011, 10:24 AM
Note that the weak hand options may go out the window if you are a Condition 3 kinda CCW.... This is one of several reasons I find Condition 3 sub-optimal.

December 21, 2011, 10:47 AM
I always love reading anecdotal evidence of why the 1911 isn't always the best choice for concealed carry.

That stoppage is the very reason why I choose either a DA revolver or a SA/DA Sig Sauer as my CCW.

Glenn E. Meyer
December 21, 2011, 10:50 AM
I found the part about the grip safety relevant. Kind of argues for simpler to manipulate guns. Getting hit in the hands isn't unknown and does this point out a 1911 weakness in that you might not be able to flip off the frame safety or activate the grip with a weak hand?

XDs have a grip safety too.

I agree that such incidents clearly indicate the Condition 3, Israeli warrior mantra is not optimal - unless you really think you are going to shoot yourself on the draw (:eek:).

December 21, 2011, 11:38 AM
Great post, I love hearing about CC experiences. I'm glad this guy lived and the purp was charged.

December 21, 2011, 11:50 AM
The perp was convicted - 30 years for the most serious charge.

I chose the HK P7M8 for SD, and if I lost strength in my hand, I'd have the same problem..

But in the Miami shootout, revolvers presented their own particular problems related to getting shot in the hand.

Mostly with blood and tissue falling into the cylinder - interfering with a reload.

Don't most people practice holding the revolver in their left while they insert the rounds via speedloader with their right hand?

I still think that if you're shot in your strong hand, it's easier to reload a semi-auto than a revolver.

I think another thing we haven't talked about is that the BG in this instance had a revolver, - limited number of shots and he ran nstead of reloading in the middle of a firefight.

December 21, 2011, 12:06 PM
C0untZer0, call me paranoid, but if I carry a revolver, my primary reload is a second revolver.

Actually, today I have a 3" Model 13 in a strongside Sam Andrews saddle OWB, and a 442 in a Mika pocket holster on the weak side; I also have a speed strip in a SimplyRugged pouch on my belt.

Buffalo Bore standard pressure 158 LSWCHP .38 all around, for easy interchangeability.

I can access a gun with whichever hand is free. (I view this as one of the main benefits of a BUG.) Good for those times when one just didn't see the threat developing in time to arm up early.

Bartholomew Roberts
December 21, 2011, 01:21 PM
Getting shot in the hand seems to be not all that uncommon

In the limited force on force I've done, it was common enough. It seems people focus on the pistol and then shoot there, usually hitting the pistol or the hands.

December 21, 2011, 01:35 PM
I've been hit in the hand quite a bit in paintball as well.

December 21, 2011, 05:33 PM
In the early 70s a number of gun writers and custom gunsmiths advocated modifying the 1911 grip safety. They drilled holes through the frame and pinned the grip Safety in the in position.

I have not seen or heard about this modification since that time.

I chose not to modify my 1911s for a number of reasons. One of those reasons was possible liability arising from a self defense encounter.

Jordan deserves a great deal of respect. He probably knew more about gunfighting than anyone in the modern era.

His reliance on the revolver is based on a number of factors. Most of the factors which eliminated the auto from his consideration have been removed. The factors which caused the auto to unreliable included precision manufacturing, poor magazines, unreliable ammo.

During the Miami FBI shoot out, one of the agents revolver malfunctioned. If memory serves, the agent was shot in the hand and goo had entered the cylinder. Because of this material the cylinder could not be closed.

While my experience with malfunctions is limited to the fireing range. The only total malfunction which caused me to not complete the course of fire was a revolver.

In the 5th Army matches at Ft Riley my recoil buffer spring went down range during the timed fire portion of the match. I completed the course of fire. The slide, after fireing remained to the rear. I simply hit the back of the slide with my weak hand to complete the cycle.

After completing that portion of the match we inspected the 1911 and found that the portion of the Barrel bushing which retained the recoil buffer spring had broken off. Under the rules of the competition I could not replace the bushing. I did use my backup pistol and complete the match. If that had not been allowed I would have continued to manually operate the weapon.

December 21, 2011, 06:46 PM
After giving this a little more thought, I was thinking that this might be a good reason to go with the velcro clips on SuperTuck or one of the other tuckable IWBs that are out there. The lack of visible leather belt loops or external clips might make for a better option in that the rig wouldn't be as detectable if you had drawn but were still hiding your piece like this gentleman was. Just a thought.


December 21, 2011, 08:19 PM
I read through this one and have given it a lot of thought, and I think the biggest lesson learned is that he should have acted at the first sign of trouble. When he saw the guy approach with a gun at his side, if he would have quietly, but very quickly moved back into the office, he would have had the upper hand on the situation. But, then again, he probably had 1-2 seconds in which to make that decision, and I can't say I would have acted either.

However, when I do get alarmed and a situation starts to seem fishy, I've learned to just leave, fast. I've decided that there's no rational reason to stick around to find out if anything is about to happen. I've done this at gas stations where I just stop pumping and leave in a hurry if something doesn't seem right. Have I avoided any possible problems? Maybe, I don't know. But, I think we have intuition for a reason, and there's no reason to not listen to it.

Double Naught Spy
December 21, 2011, 10:45 PM
Getting shot in the hand seems to be not all that uncommon

In the limited force on force I've done, it was common enough. It seems people focus on the pistol and then shoot there, usually hitting the pistol or the hands.

And sometimes the result is the gun being shot from the bad guy's hands, hence the overhyped belief that the guns can be shot from the hands of bad guy's effectively, LOL.

December 21, 2011, 10:48 PM
They talk about the Tueller drill's 21 foot rule

I believe this is now been upped to 33 feet! I have tested at 21 and 33 feet with a plastic knife and air soft at my agency and the "bad guy" wins every time if the "good guy" stands still and simply tries to draw and fire! Gotta MOVE people!

Evil Monkey
December 21, 2011, 11:45 PM
this is why I hate safeties on pistols. I'd rather have a heavy DA trigger.

Glenn E. Meyer
December 22, 2011, 10:22 AM
My first FOF - at night and outside, I got hit in the hand by a red Code Eagle.

Since it was red - for a second, I thought I was really hit. But it was just an ouch. I had a revolver hit on the cylinder face with one. Pain to clean out.

I shot a guy's gun in FOF, he stuck his gun way out as he slowly entered a door, so I shot the gun.

December 23, 2011, 01:16 PM
Then again, I doubt I could pull the 11-12# DA trigger pull on a J-frame if hit in the hand. If you can't grip a grip safety enough to pull the trigger, you've got some serious problems already.
All of the talk over being disabled strikes me as a parallel to the discussions that yielded the old "gunman's crouch" as seen in Bill Jordan's book.

December 23, 2011, 01:51 PM
Good argument for training toward amidexterity, don't you think?

Personally, I recommend (and usually practice) shooting weakhand at least a little bit at every range session.

December 24, 2011, 12:32 AM
I've totally been forgetting to practice left handed...

Next trip i'll practice switching hands and firing lefty.

December 26, 2011, 07:16 PM
C0untZer0, call me paranoid, but if I carry a revolver, my primary reload is a second revolver.

Hahaha if carrying a reload in the form of another handgunis deemed paranoid, then color me paranoid also. My primary carry is a S&W 340 in my pocket. As a disabled person it is a real challenge to reload a J-Frame for me. I have practiced reloads using left hand only and my foot with an N-Frame 629, but I don't carry the 629.

Thus my reload is a S&W 3913 in a cross draw configuation using a small camera bag. I can unzip that and draw the 3913 much faster using either hand than I can reload the J-Frame using both hands,

Most of the time I do not carry a reload anyway. I figure if I'm that deep, to where I need a reload, my chance of surviving are pretty much zero anyway.

Bartholomew Roberts
January 18, 2012, 09:24 AM
I just re-read this again the other night and was just impressed with how many important lessons there are in this. And the police photos of the crime scene and follow-up Q&A starting on pages 29 and 30 give you a real feel for what happened. Here are a few more thoughts I had regarding this story:

1. It illustrates the importance of information security in our daily lives. The get-together was targeted because the woman living upstairs informed her new ex-con boyfriend about it (and helped him buy the gun).

2. Both the attacker and the good guy were shot in the hands. Both the attacker and the good guy are extremely lucky to be alive. In the good guy's case, that innocuous chest wound that he didn't even notice missed the subclavian artery by the width of a hair according to doctors. The bad guy had loaded his snubby .38 with Speer Gold Dots; but this normally reliable load failed to expand out of the short barrel. Had they expanded even a little bit and hit the subclavian artery, the good guy would have bled out in 10-15 minutes (according to him the ambulance didn't arrive until 15 minutes).

On the attacker's side, he was hit with both shots from the .45. Once in the hands. The second shot appeared to be a dead center mass shot. If you'd have showed me that shot on a paper silhouette at the range, we'd have probably both laughed and had the "He isn't going anywhere soon!" discussion about how well we shot - except with the angle involved, the shot passed through the bad guy's clothes and never touched him.

Both men's injuries provide a good reminder of the limitations of firearms and great examples of how what look like solid hits in our 2D target practice, turn out to be much less effective than we imagined in the real 3D world.

3. Ultimately, one of the big benefits about this story is it shows how a lot of preconceived ideas about how our particular gunfight is going to go down may be wrong. In this one, the bad guy didn't flee at the first sign of a gun. He didn't immediately succumb to good center mass hits. The bad guy was carrying a quality revolved with Speer Gold Dots loaded and shot it empty in the fight.

January 18, 2012, 10:10 AM
Scary stuff, all it would've taken was that one Gold Dot expanding and this story would've had a completely different ending :( . I've experienced inconsistent expansion out of my own snub with Short Barrel Gold Dots and won't carry them anymore because of it. Definitely an interesting comparison showing the perps' hand compared to the good guys' hand. :eek:

January 18, 2012, 11:49 AM
1. It illustrates the importance of information security in our daily lives. The get-together was targeted because the woman living upstairs informed her new ex-con boyfriend about it (and helped him buy the gun).

Thanks Bart ... Somehow I missed that in my first read of the story ... but it is a real lesson. Sometimes we can't control information, but often we can. Reducing the information flow reduces the chances that it gets into the wrong hands. Just another example of how an ounce of prevention can be worth more than a pound of cure.


January 18, 2012, 05:31 PM
I find it disturbing (but I'll get over it) that the attacker was carrying hollowpoints. That goes against the stereotype that I wish I could adopt - that criminals are thoughtless and ill prepared. Well, in some areas of life they are thoughtless but that's a different matter.

His girlfriend helped him get the gun - I'm guessing that's a straw purchase, and she probably received some help at the store to purchase effective rounds for it.

So while I can almost hear someone saying "see! if the girlfriend couldn't purchase the gun then the boyfriend wouldn't have got it". but where there's a will there's a way and someone bent on breaking the law has wider boundaries / resources to draw on. About carry licenses: the attacker was illegally carrying the firearm (if it's true he was an ex-con) and the defender was doing so legally. This is an argument for licensed carry. If concealed firearm licenses were banned the attacker could have used a large knife (also illegal to carry in some places) while the defender might only have folding pocket knife...so long as it wasn't beyond 2.5 or 3 inches or whatever the magic number is.

Sorry to get off topic, preaching to the choir I know. That robber seemed to have thought it through, commanding everyone to lay down on their stomach which would hamper physical movement and vision. Just a bit unsettling.

January 18, 2012, 06:13 PM
This is not an unfamiliar scenario. Pretty much any convenience store or bank robbery has a propensity to play out like this, as the BG's attempt to control a larger number of citizens. Makes a good case for practicing the draw from the "surrender" position, practicing prone handgun shooting, and perhaps even getting a wallet-holster for a pocket gun, so that you're pulling out your wallet and get the drop on him that way.