It’s was a bang-bang kind of week-end. Saturday was our women’s intro to handguns. We focus on safety foremost, then shooting, safe storage, transportation among other things. Is there anyone who never picked up a gun and wondered if they could defend themselves with it? I doubt it, so we covered it. It’s not a CCW course, but self-defense is at the core.
I’ve always believed that the biggest stumbling block to self-defense is not the mechanics, but lack of surety that you are justified. We spend time discussing the factors that justify lethal force; tactics involved, anticipating problems and solutions.
What tactics? How about the Ohio Castle Law, for example? It’s a hot button issue for me and I advise people:
- To determine if lethal force is appropriate,
- To identify the suspected intruder enough to know they don’t belong there,
- When possible, retreat to a position of strength in your house.
To help them find positions of strength we shoot up their house. We use real, factory rounds. It’s one of my favorite demos. TV teaches us a person can duck behind an interior plaster wall and be safe from multiple gun shots.
|The spacing between the walls is reduced but really, air has stopping power? The thickness of the walls is correct.|
We come in with two sections of a stud wall covered with sheet rock and punch holes in it using the rounds they are shooting , Glasser Safety Slugs and several hollow points. We propose that the space between the walls has no contribution to stopping power and it’s only the wall board that means anything.
|The unlabeled hole on the bottom was a .38 spl Hydra-shok. The Glasser is the middle and it's punching a small hole in the second wall.|
Everything goes through the wall board. The only thing that might not make it through the second wall if it was more distant was the Glasser Safety Slug. By the time it leaves the back of the first wall, I’ve seen evidence it’s breaking apart, but it’s not consistent.
After this demo we talk about considering where your missed rounds will go.
|You are in the third room looking at the wall separating you from the second room or three rooms away from the gunshot. The middle round, a Hyda-Shok might be bigger, but it and all the other rounds are still dangerious!|
By the end of the day, the women leave with a better understanding of shooting. The women tell me they had fun shooting paper plates on a sheet of cardboard. I tell ‘em I have fun doing that too!
The following day was a pistol match at my favorite range, Greenport Tactical Association. We still have a minor flooding problem on one ranger, but the match director was able to work around the swampy parts.
I was lucky. I got assigned to the squad that wanted to have safe fun. Almost every stage had to be partially re-pasted and re-started because of gun jams, improperly inserted magazines and the occasional brain fart. It was fun.
The other squad shot all three ranges and was finished by 11:30 in time for lunch and cake, celebrating 15 years of matches at GTA. They were nice enough to stick around and tear down their last stage which really helped.
Some bloggers criticize matches as poor training. I admit I have a foot in that camp. I would rather have barricades that require
me to shoot from any two different positions with a reload in between than 15
head shot targets. But I’m willing to
accept that the trigger control you have to demonstrate to put a round in 15 five-inch
paper plates at varying distances and heights is an important skill. My strongest objection is to those of us who think
a match with paper targets represents reality.
Remember, cardboard doesn’t scatter at the first gunshot and paper
targets don’t shoot back.
|Head shots, Baby!|
|What else can I say!|
Still, the match was great fun and we had cake!