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Old November 15, 2013, 03:29 PM   #1
bk688
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Realism and the pistol.

This is just a thought after a fellow officer made a comment I found erroneously stupid.

"A pistol is used to fight your way to a rifle."

Yes, for those in the military in a combat zone this may be true, but in all reality, you will not have time to get your rifle once your getting shot at.

For instance, the average law enforcement shooting that involves a single officer ends in under 4 bullets. When multiple officers are involved is when the bullet count begins to rack up and fast. Do you really think the officer said "hold on bad guy, I gotta get my rifle?" Heck no!

In all reality, unless your responding to an incident and hence are probably already sitting next to your rifle, you wont have time to get it. If your being shot at in the course of your day outside of your vehicle, how often do you have your rifle slung? Id say that is never.

The comment he made wouldn't frustrate me because he is in the Guard, and hence has the proper mentality, but our range instructors, knowing full well we are not issued long guns of any kind have this same mentality. Its a case of "I took some classes and now I'm a ninja guru who will magically have something we're not allowed to have when **** hits the fan." I'm sorry, did my disgruntledness just show through????

In reality, your handgun is your primary weapon. You will almost never have the opportunity to get to your long gun.

The question is, would you rather train to reality and become not simply proficient, but an expert in the only weapon you'll be able to use in reality, or live in fantasy land and hope you have a rifle right next to you when your need it?

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Old November 15, 2013, 04:57 PM   #2
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I have heard and read that line many times, and I have always taken it to mean that a rifle (and rifle calibers) is a more effective stopper. You make good points that gunfights are usually not prolonged, and that rifles are not always available.

I am not a LEO, but the answer to your closing question seems obvious - training with any device that you are prohibited from having available seems silly. If that is what is happening, or if you feel your training is inappropriate in any way, I would urge you to point out the problem in a professional manner to the appropriate supervisor.

Thanks for being willing to serve your fellow citizens in this manner.
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Old November 15, 2013, 05:12 PM   #3
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In my opinion, as a civilian, you're likely able to have a handgun all the time and it's likely (but not always the case) that that should be your highest sufficiency.

In the home or car you may keep a rifle or a shotgun. In those cases, it will be the more powerful weapon if you can get to it. Will it be the better weapon for the scenario? That will probably depend on your specific situation.
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Old November 15, 2013, 05:27 PM   #4
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If you carry a pistol you should master the pistol.

The number of shot fired in a LEO gunfight is not 3 or 4 as has been parroted since Christ was a private. That is the number of shots cops fire in gunfights they LOSE. The 3-3-3 is total BS, do not train for that unless you want to set yourself up for failure.
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Old November 15, 2013, 05:30 PM   #5
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Many folks will survive a handgun shooting, many do not survive a rifle shooting.
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Old November 15, 2013, 07:40 PM   #6
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You are right. Most police involved shootings, like civilian shootings, are o er quick. Train realistically!
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Old November 15, 2013, 08:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
If you carry a pistol you should master the pistol.
Applause, Nanuk.
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Old November 15, 2013, 09:22 PM   #8
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The statement is from a list of 'do's' from a famous trainer. Some have to be taken with a grain of salt. Some come back to haunt you in court if they were something your trainer said or you can be shown to have taken to heart.
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Old November 15, 2013, 09:25 PM   #9
James K
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Just another one of those silly statements by pretend gun experts, the kind who don't think through what they say before uttering nonsense. (Or is that condition not limited to gun experts?)

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Old November 15, 2013, 09:36 PM   #10
Willie Lowman
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It isn't a silly statement at all.

My handgun is most certainly the gun to get me to my rifle. I'm not so sure about "fight my way to a rifle" but it's with me so that I may once again be where my rifle is.

Like when I am in Columbus and my rifle is in my home, 50 miles away. The handgun is there so I will somehow, by the grace of God, get home where my rifle is.

Think about it.

Now if something terrible should happen in my home that requires the use of a gun, my handgun is there for me till I can get the safe open... Then it's rifle time.
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Old November 15, 2013, 09:44 PM   #11
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A pistol is for when there's no way out, not for fighting your way to your rifle on anything else, a last resort.
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Old November 15, 2013, 10:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
"A pistol is used to fight your way to a rifle."
I do not think I ever heard that tell I started frequenting the internet. I do not think that way about having pistols available for SD. If I have to use my pistol I think I am going to be too focused on what is going on to think, at the same time, that I should be trying to get to a rifle. If I tried to get to anything else it would probably be a HD type shotgun. I have one and it is loaded but I would have to get to it then fumble around to unlock it, except when I am camping and keep it handy for bears that refuse to be scared off. When something goes bump in the night my first instinct is to grab my pistol and identify the bump, not go unlock the shotgun.
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Old November 15, 2013, 10:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
This is just a thought after a fellow officer made a comment I found erroneously stupid.
I think you are being erroneously literal. The original comment, in context:

Quote:
Let's make this clear: there's a huge difference between
being (i.e. caught) in a fight and going to a fight. If you
knew in advance that you had to shoot a Bad Guy (i.e. going
to a fight), you wouldn't pick a handgun, would you? No
you'd take a rifle.
A handgun is merely a weapon used to fight your way back
to your rifle - which you shouldn't have left behind...

Boston T. Party
Boston's Gun Bible, pg. 25/1
If you know you are going to a gunfight, you'd take your rifle. We don't always get to pick and choose now do we?

That was the discussion around the original quote. At least that was where I originally read it.

What the context was of the conversation between you and your fellow officer only you know. Maybe he was unaware of the original context as well. I'm sure he would like to hear your opinion of him.

Quote:
The question is, would you rather train to reality and become not simply proficient, but an expert in the only weapon you'll be able to use in reality, or live in fantasy land and hope you have a rifle right next to you when your need it?
Of course we should train with our expected situation. Maybe he was just venting the same frustration that you have - no patrol rifle.

And, if possible we should train for the unexpected. Training plans that throw the students a challenge or an unexpected situation are just as important. We actually challenge the students to try and get back to the rifle or shotgun in some of our exercises. Most of our clients don't have the issue of no long guns. I share your sentiments on that issue.

P.S.

"Boston T Party" is a notorious advocate of "all rifle, all the time". His books are sometimes a chore to read. But, overall I always recommend the reader look them over and make up their own opinion.
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Old November 15, 2013, 10:58 PM   #14
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Just do what I do, carry ninja stars with you so you can kill them when your pistol is out of ammo.
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Old November 16, 2013, 09:47 AM   #15
Glenn Dee
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I'm sure a pistol could be used to fight your way to a rifle. My opinion is that folks in a place where they may need a rifle... They probably carry a rifle. Outside the military in theatre, or civillians in rural to wilderness area's a rifle is not a realistic option. My experience is that self defense actions tend to be up close and quick. Could a situation arise where the defender needs a rifle?.. of course!

Location, location, location. It all depends on location. What works for someone defending their home along the border, probably wont work for someone defending in an urban location. There are many problems, so there must be many soloutions. There is no one size fit's all soloution.

We all tend to form opinions based on our own personal situations, and experience.
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Old November 16, 2013, 10:00 AM   #16
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I'm not in LE any more, I'm not in the military any more.

IF I knew I was going to a gun fight, I'd stay home.
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Old November 16, 2013, 10:09 AM   #17
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^^

Kraig has the correct answer.
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Last edited by jglsprings; November 16, 2013 at 10:43 AM.
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Old November 16, 2013, 04:13 PM   #18
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It is absolutely irrelevant to most conversations in which the phrase, "a handgun is for fighting your way to a long gun" that the user is taking it out of context. What is relevant is the way in which it gets used. In my experience, the phrase is most commonly an indicator that the user suffers from unrealistic beliefs about defensive encounters.

Quote:
In reality, your handgun is your primary weapon. You will almost never have the opportunity to get to your long gun.

The question is, would you rather train to reality and become not simply proficient, but an expert in the only weapon you'll be able to use in reality, or live in fantasy land and hope you have a rifle right next to you when your need it?
THIS is the juice... the real sweet stuff.
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Old November 16, 2013, 07:57 PM   #19
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"A pistol is used to fight your way to a rifle."

Ugh. I can't stand that expression. Lot of good points on this thread. That phrase is usually used by the newbie or the completely delusional. Yes, I'm going to empty a 15 round mag of .40 through a hail of bad guy gunfire to get my AR out of the safe, diving through the air like Jason Statham. Not.

Additionally, the legal ramifications of rifle use in self-defense are pretty significant. In most states, use of a rifle outside the home is going to spell major legal problems, even if you are in the right.
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Old November 16, 2013, 08:15 PM   #20
DT Guy
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Wow. I never took it all that literally, to be honest.

Handguns and rifles are in entirely different classes, as discussed here: if both weapons are available (as in combat) the purpose of the handgun is to be on your person even when the rifle cannot be in your hands, like when going to the latrine.

In those situations, it is absolutely true that the defensive use of a handgun (against aggressors presumably armed with rifles) would best be temporary while falling back to the rifle.

So the ultimate problem with the statement, if there is one, is not its truth, but the use out of context by people using it too broadly. Just as "Better judged by 12 than carried by 6" is literally true, folks often use it to completely dismiss concerns arising from a defensive shooting, which is NOT what that saying was intended to convey.

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Old November 16, 2013, 09:22 PM   #21
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I think LEO should remember that they are police officers not soldiers. If you run up on something you can't handle with your side arm, call someone who can.

I think that would be S.W.A.T. or some sort of Task Force. If you don't have any of those and you run up on something you can't handle, back off, or find someone who will loan you a long gun.
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Old November 16, 2013, 10:23 PM   #22
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Quote:
I think LEO should remember that they are police officers not soldiers. If you run up on something you can't handle with your side arm, call someone who can.
Unfortunately it does not work that way very often.
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Old November 17, 2013, 08:07 AM   #23
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3shot group
I think LEO should remember that they are police officers not soldiers. If you run up on something you can't handle with your side arm, call someone who can.

I think that would be S.W.A.T. or some sort of Task Force. If you don't have any of those and you run up on something you can't handle, back off, or find someone who will loan you a long gun.

Because of active shooters type incidents we are now trained to go as soon as we get there no waiting for back up (SWAT will be called but it will take them a minimum of an hour to respond). Move to the sound of the gun fire and engage. I think this is what the officer was referring to when he made the comment about his pistol being used to get his rifle. Because my Ar15 is in the trunk and if I rolled into an active shooter, I would if they were close enough engage with my pistol but getting to my rifle as soon as possible would be in the forefront of my mind if I could not finish it right away with a pistol. Now excluding active shooter I completely agree with bk688 that my side arm is the most likely weapon to be used. bk688 your department does not allow to too have patrol rifles? I didn't know there was any departments left that still had that attitude>
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Old November 17, 2013, 09:00 AM   #24
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3shotGroup...


Sir. With all due respect to your own experiences, thats not how it works. Police officers operate in all kinds of environments. While a patrol rifle is the best of idea's in a rural environment, it may not be so in the other end of the spectrum such as an urban envrionment.

I admit to a current trend of militerizing the police. While it makes it easier to be a leo, it makes it much harder to be a policeman.

A patrol rifle has nothing to do with this militerization of the police. It is about providing the individual officer with the best set of tools available to accomplish the police mission in the particular environment.
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Old November 17, 2013, 09:36 AM   #25
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Amen, Glen. I used 94 Winchesters, etc. for a good part of my career. Now the outfit furnishes rifles and I can finally leave my old iron at home.
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