By now you’ve seen the store security tape of Heriberto Aceves trying to draw and load his semi auto against a criminal with a loaded gun. (Oct 2016)
|This is what it is like when you carry an empty gun for protection.|
Heriberto didn’t make it and died trying. His son Juan, also present, is killed as well.
What happened? Did gun have a feeding jam? Was the magazine seated properly? Did he fail to properly sling-shot the slide? I’ve seen various attempts to explain what was happening, but I suspect only Heriberto really knows. In any case it took him too long to bring his force multiplier into action.
Let’s concentrate on how long it takes to bring a person to weapon ready status. I’m not talking about how fast you draw but how fast you go from no weapon visible to being ready to squeeze the first round off.
It took Heriberto too long. If you were at home, how long would it take you to get a loaded, functioning weapon ready?
Is it on you or is it unloaded under the sofa? Or bedroom? Is it in a safe/lockbox, hidden and where do you have to go to get it? Spare magazine next to it or high capacity available? Maybe you have to use a normal magazine for concealed carry, but nobody says your reload can’t be high capacity or your home gun can’t be loaded with an extended magazine.
Imagine the sound of a cinder block going through the glass sliding door in the back of the house. You need to:
- Recognize what the noise is and what it means;
- Get the occupants, children, spouse somewhere safe;
- Get your weapon ready;
- Get yourself to a point of advantage and dominance.
If the gun is up the flight of stairs and in the back bedroom or is unloaded under the sofa with the magazine or speed loader in the end-table drawer, how long will it take you?
Even a gun carried on you in condition three* is essentially unloaded. You need to rack the slide which loads the gun and cocks the action. How long does it take? I saw a video of two men load a 1911 .45 acp under the influence of a hugh skin pop of adrenaline. Each of the trained shooters fumbled the load. No surprise there, with racing heart and cold numb fingers, I’m impressed it took only two attempts to get the gun loaded. Imagine the difficulty of drawing from concealment and needing to frack the slide!
Even in condition two, (hammer down on a loaded chamber), a single action firearm requires you to cock the hammer. If you rack the slide to cock your weapon, a round will be ejected. Now you’re one round down in a gunfight for your life.
Clearly the better answer seems to be a loaded gun on your person. Nervous about carrying locked and cocked? I’d suggest a wheel gun, double action first round or a double action every shot. (As I type this I’m wearing a Glock which can be considered a double action.) Pick one that fits you.
What about the AR rifle? There are advantages to using a rifle for home defense. (You should be aware I’m lumping all domiciles, even temporary ones like hotel rooms in to “home”.) Better accuracy, better stopping power, larger capacity are just a few of the pluses.
But assuming you’re not walking around with a slung, loaded AR while making eggs in the morning, where’s the rifle? In a case? Is the scope turned off or are you using iron sights? Where’s the magazine? Is it loaded? How loaded, or are you planning to top it off from a stash? Is the adjustable stock set or are you prepared to shoot with a collapsed stock and your dot as a giant ghost ring? Is the sling set or simply flopping around and do you really need a sling in your own house? It’s all doable, if you have it planned and practiced.
Remember the Seven P’s.
Prior planning/practice prevents piss poor performance.
Let’s grind away a little on the terrorist fantasy. Here’s a version of it that I share with others, even though I suspect its pure fantasy.
You see the action unfolding and retrieve the rifle and prepare to help save the day.
Once again where’s the rifle? In a case or mounted in the trunk? Let’s dismiss carrying it in the passenger compartment unless you’re 007 or the police. Is the dot turned on? Some dots run for years, others a month. So it should be obvious that the scope gets turned on as soon as the rifle gets in your hands, if not left on all the time. Maybe a 3X fixed optical scope is what you really need and not the tacti-cool scope the Navy Seals use.
Where’s the magazine? Is it loaded? Is the stock adjusted? Sling adjusted and rubber-banded out of the way? Gun light installed or laying in the case?
So how long? How long will it be from first indication of trouble to weapon ready?
Why don’t you find out? Go to the range and set it up like to carry or how you keep it at home. Use a timer and on the buzz, get the gun out, load, adjust, futz with it and get a shot off to stop the timer.
How long? Too long? Well, you can change that.
Can you shave stuff to make it faster? Magazine with the rifle instead of located in external pouch or a separate location. Preset the collapsible stock or simply mark it so you just have to pull it to position. Zipper pulls on the case to assist you in opening it.
What about safety glasses and ear protection. Can you do without? At home a suppressor could be the ticket. Maybe you’re willing to trade minor ear damage today for having a tomorrow. That’s not a bad trade in my opinion.
*Condition One: Loaded gun, single actions cocked, safety on, double actions decocked and off safe;
Condition Two: Chamber loaded, hammer down with single action, double action has the safety on;
Condition three: Loaded magazine, but chamber empty, safety set any damn way you want;
Condition Four: unloaded, empty gun.