Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Match Thoughts

The 1911 .45 ACP is been described as the premiere gun fighting tool to which all others are compared and king of the feed ramp jam.  That is why I don’t carry a 1911 .45ACP.  

But they are fun to shoot.  There are few legal pleasure greater than hammering steel plates with a 1911 .45.

1911 Only
I recently shot a Single Stack Classic at a local range.  Considering the difficulties, it was a great match.  The difficulties?  Recent renovations and a very wet spring and summer have left one range too swampy to use.  But that’s another topic.

.45 ACP match
Everything you could ask for, steel,  hostages and shoot targets


Most of the targets were relatively close, just over 10 yards in distance.  These are distances most of us non-law enforcement and non-combat citizens will find our conflicts limited to.  Still, it’s not a bad idea to assure yourself you can hit at longer distances.  While I don’t expect to slug it out with a rifleman at 100 yards, 20 yards isn’t unreasonable.  Next time you’re at the range see what kind of group you can shoot at 20 yards with your carry gun.


.45 acp match
Weak hand only

The match had a variety of CoF which were at times complex.  For those of us who routinely double tap every target we see as we pie a corner, the instructions could trip you up.  One string required that each target of four targets get one shot before returning to the first target to shoot it a second time.  This was the reef I kept sailing into.

Despite my poor performance, I like it because forcing your mind to step outside your habits is good for the armed citizen.


.45 ACP match
Shoot three targets off each star and knock over the tombstone poper

 Double taps vs boarding house rules (Everyone gets one before seconds)
I once watched Ken Hackathorn demo the timed difference between shooting a double tap on two side-by-side targets or shooting each one once and then a second time.  Both strings resulted in two rounds in the center of mass and the time difference was in the hundreds of a second.  Not enough to affect your survival.

But Ken knew there were only two targets.  What if there were four? Would the time difference become significant?  Would the elapsed time required to giving two rounds to each of three assailants, as compared to one round each, make a difference to a fourth assailant?  One of the question you want to ponder is "Does an armed and wounded assailant become easier to deal with or not?"

What if you didn’t know how many, but suspect more than one assailant?  What if you dropped your reload going out the door and all you had was what’s in your fist? 

I’m suggesting, especially to myself, don’t let ridged concepts involving tactical shooting prevent you from seeing opportunities and potential.


The things you see

Just wrong
Do what you want dude, but that's just wrong.
I’m a little dogmatic on some things.  Extra magazines should be carried weak side, base plate up and bullet tips forward.  Experience has taught me that a second (or third) magazine carried on the strong side has advantages, like when your weak side is jammed against cover and those magazines are blocked.  Still, I ran into a shooter who carried them facing backwards bullet tips down.  You can do whatever you want, but that’s just plain wrong.

Holsters
Kydex holsters
My newest holster   Anyone who doesn't have several holsters for each gun just doesn't get out enough!
I just got new holsters from Ricky’s Holsters.   I got one for my Springfield Champion 1911 in gray Kryptek Kydex as well as a double mag carrier.  They are very cool and Ricky does amazing work.  There is a high level of attention to detail and a deep interest to make sure you get what you want.  I wanted blue rivets and that’s what I got.  I purchased one in black earlier for my Glock with a gun light.  It’s larger than most of his holsters, but it really fits my need.

Translucent holster for Springfield 1911
Translucent!  It really shows off the gun!


My wife is an early adopter (well, maybe not) but she had a holster and double mag carrier made for her Springfield 1911 from transparent kydex. 

Translucent magazine carriers

They are stunning!  It sure answers the question “What’s in your holster?”

Visit Ricky at:

https://www.facebook.com/Rickysholsters/

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Life Preserver

Officer Jeronimo Yanez shot and killed Philando Castile following a traffic stop (http://www.kare11.com/news/yanez-trial-week-2/445870511).  A jury recently found him not guilty.  You’ve probably seen the video taken by Castile’s girlfriend seconds after Castile was shot by Yanez. 

Following the trial which found Officer Yanez not guilty of manslaughter, the St. Anthony’s police released the voice and cam recorded video of the shooting.  In retrospect, the girlfriend’s and police department video make for a unique inside view of the razor edge of stress created in any shooting. I'm sure you can find it on You Tube or at "Breach Bang Clear" http://www.breachbangclear.com/philando-castile-verdict-not-a-victory-for-law-enforcement/ .


I think it’s a bad shooting.  I firmly believe the girlfriend’s videoing and on-line posting kept her alive.  I can’t help wonder if Yanez had wondered if it would be better if nobody survived in the front seat.  But these are just my opinions, a third party internet quarterback.

I can’t help suspect it would have gone better if Castile had handled the stop better. 

I’m not blaming the victim.  The Minnesota’s CCW training may have let him down.  The text I saw of their dialog has Castile attempting to explain he has a license and is carrying concealed.  He starts his explanation too late in the interview and seems to be attempting to follow previously given instructions when he is shot.

I want to tell, recommend, suggest, command you to follow this dialog and behavior as close and as soon as possible in any traffic stop.  It can make a difference between getting shot and getting a ticket.

When stopped, roll down the driver’s window an inch.  Leave your seatbelt on.  If it is night, turn the interior lights on.  In any case, grab the top of the steering wheel with both hands.  This is your life preserver so never let go until you are instructed by the police officer.

Your passengers should be instructed to sit quietly with their hands folded in their laps and resist the urge to:
Scratch,
Inject themselves into the conversation,
Make any movement.
They should respond to questions with the simplest and shortest answer possible.  Be polite, it is free and goes a long way.

The police officer will approach and most will stop behind the car’s pillar or behind you, the driver.  Just look straight out the front window.

As some point the officer will either inform you why you were stopped or ask you do you know why you were stopped.  Answer him with the truth and then add:

“Officer, I have a permit to legally carry a firearm and I am doing so.  How do you want to handle it?”

I strongly urge you to say almost the same thing if you have a license but are not carrying, because your license plate is linked with that information.  The officer will be wondering about your gun status and why you’re not informing him of it.  Say:

“Officer, I have a permit to legally carry a firearm, but I am not doing so.”

Honestly, you will run into wiseass cops who will jerk you around at some point.  Just put up with it with your hands on the steering wheel until he tells you to do something.  Follow his instructions.

I carry on my right side, so my wallet goes into my left rear pocket. Follow that pattern.  The wallet goes on the opposite side as the gun.  Don’t dig for wallet, insurance card, or vehicle registration while you’re waiting for the officer to approach you.  It makes them nervous and increased tension can kill.

When I take the wallet out, I do so slowly, holding it with my finger tips and take it slowly to the steering wheel so it and my hands are highly visible.  Using the wheel for support, I open the wallet, remove what the officer has asked for and place the wallet on the top of the dash.  Hand him the card through the inch opening in your window.

We could go through all the important features, why I leave my seatbelt on, why I don’t make eye contact, why I use the words I do.  It’s pretty simple.  Just remember the first rule of police work:
“The officer gets to go home at the end of his or her shift.”

Anything you can do to assure the person standing on the other side of the window that this rule will remain unflexed and in pristine condition will simplify your encounter with the gatekeeper to the legal system.


Remember, you’re being recorded and you don’t want to be the star of the next don’t-do-it video.   Think about it.