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Old October 21, 2018, 02:09 PM   #18
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 17,382
The equipment arguments can get very silly very fast because most seem based on how people speculate their participation in a real gunfight will unfold, an event most of them will never experience and in which, should they be so unfortunate as to experience one, they will discover their speculation was largely irrelevant to. The same with sighted vs. point shooting arguments. Imagination rather than experience appears to dominate choices. The research I've seen on that particular subject indicates it is very complicated to determine what is true and what is self-fulfilling prophecy. It's an area where one may cherry-pick data to support whatever one is predisposed to believe, and that's what I perceive most people to be doing. About the only thing everyone seems to be agreed on is that shot placement matters most to ending an actual gunfight in the shortest possible time. But first the confrontation has to escalate to an actual gunfight, and that is not usually what happens.

Psychological factors are most likely to determine the outcome of actual confrontations with criminals before a gunfight can even commence. Dr. Gary Kleck's work found about 80% of criminal assaults are aborted when the bad guy sees his intended victim is armed. That predominant psychological result involves no shots being fired at all. Of the remaining 20%, where at least one shot is fired, something on the order of 90% are single discharges that don't hit anyone, instead, serving as warning shots (whether the miss was intentional or not) that convince the more stubborn or stupid criminals to abort and run.

From the standpoint of creating a psychological effect that is most likely to resolve a pre-gunfight confrontation in your favor and without escalation, you want the bad guy to be as wary of you and your weapon as possible. I've heard claims bad guys find bigger handgun muzzle diameters scarier than small ones, but don't know of an actual study done to support that. I know from personal experience that exhibiting total confidence in your own ability to dominate a fight is something bad guys will read in your body language and demeanor that can result in them aborting an intended assault.

If you take as your objective to end confrontations with criminals without having to shoot someone and go through all the subsequent legal, publicity and, for some more than others, emotional consequences of doing that, then you have to think carefully through your choices and your training to determine what you will bring to such a confrontation. Knowing that if you have to shoot it will statistically most often be one shot, regardless of whether it hits or not, then is a large capacity magazine still going to give you a significant psychological confidence edge over the six-shots you in a revolver? If so, by all means, eliminate smaller capacity guns from among your choices. Just recognize that choice is statistically much more about positively influencing your own mindset than it is about what you are actually likely to have to do. Therefore it cannot be counted on to be a necessary choice for everybody.

Jeff Cooper taught, correctly, as Kleck's research showed, that attitude and psychology win most fights. He also advised training with the most powerful weapon you can control adequately, which speaks to what the criminal also may be most leary of. Using those tools to avoid having to shoot anybody makes the most sense to me. How you choose to equip yourself for such situations is often more about you than about the mechanics of gunfights.
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