Monday, September 8, 2014

Vehicle Combative part 2

Let me suggest a couple ideas.  

 Keep a sufficient distance between you and the stopped vehicle in front. If your car is mobile, drive away.  If you can‘t avoid, evade.  Abandon the car and make your way to safety.  Failing that, counter with great enthusiasm. 

Car we will shoot as part of vehicle combative class
Dave demos in the car, a Chevy Lumina , also known as a hole above ground

It almost seems weird logic, but if the situation warrants shooting someone, don’t you think it warrants running them over?  Don’t forget your vehicle has a reverse gear too! 
Most people know there is very little in the way of true bullet-proof cover in a car or pick-up.  Light weight metal and super strong plastic are the current solutions to better gas mileage.

 What’s bullet resistant today?  Engine block, steel tire rims and good luck.  We fired a few rounds into a Chevy Lumina door below the decorative strip.  We shot everything from .45 ACP to 9mm ball to .380 golden saber, making a good attempt to shoot straight through the car.  Sometimes we hit the manikin in the front seat, sometimes we hit a piece of re-enforcing metal or door speaker and the rounds went everywhere.  Most of the rounds made into the passenger compartment.

The glass windows?

Side windows crumble into chips of safety glass with the first round.  Makes no difference if you’re inside or out.  One round and the side window is gone.

Front and rear windows are different.  If the rear window is tempered, it’s safety glass and one round shatters it into a mosaic of clear and frosted cracks.  The second round on any remaining glass opens up the entire back window. 

Front windows and laminated rear windows are different.
Because of the curvature the outer surface can deflect rounds downward.  From the inside the round can be deflected upward.  If you’re at a steep angle to the curved beveled glass surface a round can skip off the glass and go on its own adventure.  Confusing, isn’t it.

Press the muzzle into the glass, shoot hole in it, then shoot through the hole at the bad guys.  Simple!  This student take turn shooting through windshield.  Note previous holes.

 So what did we do?  We practiced drawing from the front seat and shooting a target through the windshield.  The key is to launch all your rounds through the hole your first, sacrificial bullet makes in the windshield.  Then we practiced getting the seat belt unbuckled, the imaginary door open and moving with a drawn weapon to the rear of the vehicle.  This was practiced as both the driver and passenger.
Passenger side bailout
The students are hot, guns out and they are moving uprange.  This takes care and awareness of where everyone is and where your muzzle is.  Note right and left students are still in the chairs and are now down range. 

Want a hint?  Make sure you know how the seat belt release works and how the door unlocks and opens on every car you get into.  Our imaginary vehicles worked fine until we got to the Lumina and repeated the drills.  It’s sad to see some trying to get out of the car to fight for their life but not able to figure out the door lock.

Here's a short video, but I had to reduce the resolution with a so-called free program.  They stick a water mark over most of it, but I think you can get the drift of it.

Note two things in the video.  He puts his arms out on the trunk, exposing a lot of himself to incoming fire.  She bobs up and down after every shot losing sight of the target. Also not a good thing.  But in truth, I tend to want to do that myself. 

We worked these drills from both the drivers and passengers side as well as the back seat.

Practice drawing from passenger side  The car is facing forward, you can tell from the headlights.  The second shooter is driving a right hand drive car..

Next move

Gun out, clearing door panels and sear belts.  One handed shooting may be the requirement depending on your flexibility and the available time.

For me the best way to get out of the hole above the ground they call a Lumina is to undo my seat belt, open the door and fall out.

Dave taught us how to take cover behind a tire on the car and shoot under the car, which was surprisingly easy.  Finally we squared off against a radio controlled mobile target and practiced moving around the car, using the car for concealment and engaging the target.

shooting under car
Using the steel rim and tire as cover and shooting under the car.   Watch your muzzle and don't shoot in to the steel rim like the right shooter looks like they are about to .

Shooter came close to wounding their tire.  Beware of the off-set between the muzzle and the front sight!  

I certainly plan to look at my two cars differently and put a little practice into them.  But I have to wonder what the dealership will make of it when I try these thing ‘dry’ in the show in the show room!

Was the course worth it?

We're not done yet, the car still has side windows!

Yes.  Shooting through glass from the inside of the vehicle was unique.  I was half convinced I would be back splashed by flying glass.  It didn’t happen.  I never understood before the need to shoot through the hole you made in the front window.  I do now.  I always thought shooting under a car was just for drama, but I see it differently now.  And I see the need for a high capacity handgun.

The last is still a bone of contention.  If I knew I’d need a high capacity gun, I wouldn’t go there.  Still, since we don’t know when trouble will find us it seems prudent to have more than the seven rounds my Kahr P-9 carries.  Even a second reload may not be the answer.  The mirror to that is my lifestyle doesn’t bring me into contact with conditions that might require large volumes of rounds down range.
Something to think about, isn’t it.

I would have liked to spending more time bailing out of the car, retreating to the rear and engaging targets. I think a drill starting outside the car and moving to it for cover and concealment would have been valuable.  We didn’t cover retreating to the front of the car.  I could leave the door open on my way to the back, might make good sense, but I’ve got to close it if I’m moving forward.

Still, given the range and limitations on a two day course I learned a lot.  It’s just a damn shame I only practice with a finger gun.  Pew-pew!

Last bitch:  They misspelled my name on the certificate.

Part one: Here

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