Condition: Yellow - responsible preparation, and fun, for an unpredictable world

The Rules of a Gunfight

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

By Sergeant First Class Joe Frick.

  1. Forget about knives, bats and fists. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns. Bring four times the ammunition you think you could ever need.
  2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammunition is cheap – life is expensive. If you shoot inside, buckshot is your friend. A new wall is cheap – funerals are expensive
  3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.
  4. If your shooting stance is good, you’re probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.
  5. Move away from your attacker and go to cover. Distance is your friend. (Bulletproof cover and diagonal or lateral movement are preferred.)
  6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a semi or full-automatic long gun and a friend with a long gun.
  7. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.
  8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and running. Yell “Fire!” Why “Fire”? Cops will come with the Fire Department, sirens often scare off the bad guys, or at least cause then to lose concentration and will…. and who is going to summon help if you yell “Intruder,” “Glock” or “Winchester?”
  9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on “pucker factor” than the inherent accuracy of the gun.
  10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.
  11. Always cheat, always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
  12. Have a plan.
  13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won’t work. “No battle plan ever survives 10 seconds past first contact with an enemy.”
  14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible, but remember, sheetrock walls and the like stop nothing but your pulse when bullets tear through them.
  15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
  16. Don’t drop your guard.
  17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees. Practice reloading one-handed and off-hand shooting. That’s how you live if hit in your “good” side.
  18. Watch their hands. Hands kill. Smiles, frowns and other facial expressions don’t (In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where I can see them.)
  19. Decide NOW to always be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.
  20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.
  21. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet if necessary, because they may want to kill you.
  22. Be courteous to everyone, overly friendly to no one.
  23. Your number one option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.
  24. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with anything smaller than “4”.
  25. Use a gun that works EVERY TIME. “All skill is in vain when an Angel blows the powder from the flintlock of your musket.” At a practice session, throw you gun into the mud, then make sure it still works. You can clean it later.
  26. Practice shooting in the dark, with someone shouting at you, when out of breath, etc.
  27. Regardless of whether justified of not, you will feel sad about killing another human being. It is better to be sad than to be room temperature.
  28. The only thing you EVER say afterwards is, “He said he was going to kill me. I believed him. I’m sorry, Officer, but I’m very upset now. I can’t say anything more. Please speak with my attorney.”

Negligence at Range365

The shooting enthusiasm blog Range365 published a post recently wherein the author, David Maccar observed:

“With proper training, this kind of handgun is perfectly safe, but there’s no way to train for holster obstructions, short of tactile or visual inspection of the holster before inserting the gun each time—which is hardly practical.”

This is an objectively false and dangerous statement. Not only is visual inspection of your holster before inserting the gun practical, it is a responsible imperative. To suggest otherwise in a gun publication is, at best, grossly ill advised and, at worst, criminally negligent.

Visually inspecting the holster and looking the handgun all the way into the holster—while holstering in a reluctant fashion—is compulsory firearm safety. It’s what safe gun handlers do. Those who do not habitually execute this procedure are unsafe; a danger to themselves and others. As such, they should train in proper fashion to make proper reholstering habitual before strapping on a loaded firearm ever again.

Given the gravity of this mistake, I’m personally appalled at Range365 for letting such an obviously irresponsible statement escape their editing process.

Context Matters

It is relevant to point out that the post in question is one dealing with a new-ish accessory for Glock pistols, called the Glock Striker Control Device (SCD) from the Tau Development Group, commonly called The Gadget. Its effective purpose—one clearly supported by the blog post in question—is to compel Glock owners to dispense with compulsory, habitual safety and instead entrust safety (and their firearm’s reliability) to an add-on accessory.

A firearm is neither safe nor unsafe. Only a person is safe or unsafe. A safe individual is one who adheres to the 4 rules of gun safety without compromise and who never, ever cedes their responsibility to a mechanism or gadget. As this Gadget trains gun carriers to dispense with habitual safe practices, it is—by definition—a device designed to encourage firearms negligence. Responsible individuals must not entertain ideas of utilizing this or any other similarly destructive device.

This ridiculous, dangerous device aside, those who operate Range365 should reconsider their policies and advice. Everyone who touches firearms should adhere to the 4 rules of gun safety and otherwise exercise safe practices and habits with firearms…instead of becoming lazy and complacent; secure in the delusion that a gadget will take up their negligent slack.

Plates at 10 Yards From Concealment

Just working on drawing from concealment and getting first hit on target at 10 yards. I like to keep this around .95 to 1.2, but I was being careful here since I was filming. 🙂

Uncharacteristically had a couple of fumbled draws here, but got the job done anyway both times. Wearing two shirts is different than wearing one. That’s why we call it training.

The Fifth Rule of Gun Safety

Handling firearms comes with a mandate: habitual, uncompromising firearm safety. Following this mandate keeps us and those around us safe. The rules of gun safety are vital not just for our own safety, but for the fact that often when we’re handling guns we’re surrounded by other people.

Despite this mandate, I see unsafe gun handling every time I go to the range. Not sometimes, not most of the time, but every time I’m at a gun range.

women not minding their muzzles

Safe shooters unconsciously adhere to the four rules of gun safety. These rules are perfect and need no addition to ensure that our actions cause no harm to ourselves or others. What they do not account for, however, is the fact that some of the people who handle guns are incompetent, unsafe, or otherwise fail in their adherence to these important four rules. Therefore, responsibility requires that we follow yet another rule. A fifth rule.

The 5th Rule of Gun Safety:

“Pay attention to where other peoples’ muzzles are pointing.”

 

This “rule” is handwritten on the whiteboard at the outdoor practical range I visit once or twice every week. There are several skills classes taught each week at this range and the safety briefing given to the students in each of these classes includes a reference to this rule. And with good reason.

I understand that this extra rule of gun safety was proposed candidly one day by Brian, one of the instructors there at Proactive Defense. Makes perfect sense. With a number of shooters training on the line in one of the bays—students in a class or just people out for a day’s training and with all of the involved manipulation—there are a lot of gun muzzles for a range officer or an instructor to monitor. There are too many, in fact, from moment to moment. Therefore, he recognized, if we’re going to be safe we all have to keep track of where nearby muzzles are pointed.

Brian’s logical epiphany is not something he coined or otherwise imagined first. Situational awareness is common among responsible people, especially at the gun range. But like the other four rules of gun safety, this one is not something the average citizen thinks about and it cannot simply be learned. Gun-safety rules can be learned in 5 minutes, but this learning is irrelevant until after months of continual forging of unconscious habit. Like the other four rules of firearm safety, this one has to be drilled into the student and rehearsed time and time again until it becomes a habitual action one performs moment to moment, with all manner of manipulations, and under all sorts of circumstances without ever thinking about it. Finally, one becomes almost incapable of unsafe gun manipulation and is, finally, safe with guns. But before this can happen, the idea of a rule must be codified. That codification is precisely what Brian and my friends at Proactive Defense have accomplished, and then train into their students.

So, if you are a gun owner, here is your mandate—the fifth rule you must internalize and forge into an unconscious habit: pay attention to where the peoples’ muzzles are pointing. Despite the continual efforts of organizations and individuals, some of the people around you who are manipulating and firing guns have no grasp of the four rules of gun safety. Your life is at risk and only your vigilance can preserve it.

Be responsible. Be vigilant. Pay attention to where other peoples’ muzzles are pointing. When you observe someone violate one of the vital rules of gun safety, don’t hesitate but offer a kind-but-firm admonishment—or ask a range officer to be your proxy. Impress upon your fellow gun enthusiasts the imperative of gun safety. Live to train another day and help others to do the same.

Short CQB Carbine Drill

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

This is a short CQB drill from 15 yards just to get the blood moving today. Two shooting positions 10 yards apart, each with it’s own target. Going for A-zone hits with competent recoil management so the followup shot doesn’t swing wide. A variation would be to do this with a full magazine rather than stopping after 4 positions.

Having fun breaking in my 14″ build. Looks like I need to remove that muzzle swing while I’m running. It’s not so bad here, but it’s too much. Apparently I didn’t notice my mistake during the drill.

Ten Shots, 25 Yards, Nine Seconds

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

Today I worked some 25-yard drills. Here I’m working from concealment to get 10 shots on target inside of 9 seconds. The wind was blowing hard, moving the target and maybe the shots around a bit, but the effect was likely negligible. Looks like the two lower and one left shot were outside of what I wanted (aiming for top of the triangle). Need moar training!

To be clear, I am not aiming for “the triangle.” These targets are from one of the templates the range has. I used it so I wouldn’t have to make my own. However, that marked area is not a good representation of proper shot placement. Instead I’m aiming for the top of the triangle (and a bit above and blow it). here is my actual target area. So here, 3 shots were (way) outside of what I was going for.

target area