Monday, January 24, 2011

Defensive Shooting Considerations.

Your post on firing from inside a jacket pocket reminded of three points on shooting I rarely see mentioned.
First, warm climate shooters should occasionally practice shooting with winter gloves on.  Even balmy parts of the country get the occasional two weeks at 40 degrees, causing the unaccustomed to don heavy jackets and gloves.  It’s a shock to put on a pair of winter gloves and shoot for the first time.  Because you do not get the feedback to which you are accustomed it’s deadly easy to shoot yourself or someone else while your finger is still wondering “am I on the trigger yet?”
Second, many windbreakers and jackets have hoods with drawstrings.  I have personally witnessed two accidental discharges stemming from the drawstring getting into the trigger guard, and then discharging the weapon when the user shoved weapon into the holster.  Be aware of your clothing.
Third, very many people are myopic and wear glasses.  Yet, it is foreseeable that in a confrontation you may find your glasses knocked off before you can shoot, or before you really understand that you’re that deep in trouble. Rarely, however, do they shoot WITHOUT their corrective lenses.  A simple test:  take off your glasses and in low light look for the front sight.  If you can’t see it, there are two options.  One, to train with your non-dominate eye (assuming like many that you have one eye stronger than the other).  Two, train frequently to shoot without your glasses.

Hi Joe, excellent points, thanks for your email.
Your third point is something that concerned me a lot and I got surgery to fix it. As you say, fighting (that includes gun fighting) doesn’t go along well with glasses. I had +-3  in one eye and something similar in the other and let me tell you, you simply can’t perform safe enough or accurate enough with that kind of myopia. I know a lot of people that have much worse than that.
To this serious problem, I noticed also that glasses are perceived as a sing of weakness by predators. It may not be politically correct to say so but it’s the way it is. That’s the way the thug’s brain works. Give him two similar persons and he will go after the guy with glasses, at an instinctive/subconscious level he understands that individual has a small disadvantage.
Then there’s the entire can of worms of being caught in the middle of a disaster and having to depend on glasses (and not breaking them or losing them) so as to see.
I say it all the time, getting LASIK was the best money I ever spent regarding preparedness.



Thank you for your book!

Your experienced perspectives are meaningful to all of us.

I am especially mindful of your multiple exhortations to get certain things bought/stored NOW, rather than later.

You did something that few authors have the guts to do--you take a stand and you are absolutely unapologetic about it. I'm thinking particularly of your preference for Glock 9mm pistols. Surely, you were thinking of the vast majority of new preppers who waste time dithering around over the pluses and minuses of this manufacturer of handgun versus another one. And then, there is the dithering over what caliber ammunition to get.

The section that focused on bug out bags, fanny packs, etc. was especially useful, too. I'll be reviewing that at some length to double check what I have and what I may have missed. I know that one book cannot possibly cover all things of note--and that is why I have found your blog so helpful as well.

I did think of one modification that would probably be appreciated by the prepper community: Please consider an annual update for your terrific book. One model of a successful book that does this is the "What Color Is Your Parachute?" jobhunting book. With all of the new innovations that are introduced each year, it would be good to have your perspective on which new/improved products have value and which ought to be dismissed.


Thanks Hal for your kind email.
The Glock is the standard by which all defensive/combat pistols are measured. Does it have as much capacity as the Glock?(some do) Is it as durable/resistant to abuse? (none has been as expensively torture tested as the Glock) Is it accurate? (very) Is the gun as popular as the Glock, are parts, magazines, holsters and accessories as easily available? (not  many, the Glock is extremely popular) Is it as simple to operate? Is it as light? Maintenance? Ease of repair? Take all of these into account and the Glock simply wins. 

Add to that that most new shooters do very well with it, and they come in every common pistol caliber, the Glock is just impossible to beat as of today.
I don’t beat around the bush because I don’t want people to make the all too common mistake: They want a Glock but end up buying something cheaper. After 3 or 4 “cheaper”
guns they could have bought two Glocks with the money spent by then, and they still don’t have a gun as good as the Glock. This happens a lot these days because there are so many Glock look alikes, its easy to find something that is advertised “as good as” for a little less money. Do yourself a favor and go straight for the gun everyone in the industry is trying to imitate. 

Another common mistake is buying anything but 9mm as your first big bore handgun. You must have at least one 9mm (so that’s the first caliber you buy for your first pistol) because the price difference between 9mm and everything else is huge, and this matters a lot when you start training more and going to classes.
Revolvers are nice but ammo is expensive unless you reaload (and no new shooter reloads) and it takes only one handgun defensive shooting class to see the difference of capacity, speed and general firepower compared to autos.
That’s why I recommend the Glock 17 (or Glock 19 if you have small hands) as the best firearm for the new shooter interested in self defense.



B said...

That drawstring thing is yet another reason I dislike the Glock and prefer the 1911 with its manual safety. If you disengage the safety at position 3 on the presentation and engage it at position 3 while holstering, your odds of having a drawstring AD are very slim.

Tin Man said...

Ferfal, I must say that another book from you would be a blessing. I've read through your entire blog and book, and loan the book out to friends. I love the real-world no-bs insights and blunt stance (even though I'll always choose a 1911 in .45 over a Glock).

If you were to write a follow-up book with a collection of actual shootouts, kidnappings, muggings, successfull post-SHTF buisnesses, etc., I (and many others) would buy it. We are HUNGRY to learn about what actually DOES and DOESN'T work when your world as a whole starts to suck.

Tin Man

Anonymous said...

Having no dependence on glass lenses may be a godsend, but there have been at least two occasions in my life where wearing glass probably saved me from losing an eye. Once on the highway, where a rock shattered the triangular air vent window that was open. A piece of glass struck the lense pretty hard - if I didn't lose the eye, certainly would have received some damage to it (my shooting eye, as it was).

The 2nd in a very similar fashion, this time, totally my fault. Walking into a Harbor Freight store and in a hurry, I did not notice the mini-truck next to me (equipped with camper shell) also had a ladder on top, which the owner had very inconveniently left the legs sticking too far back. I turned the corner and BAM, I could see through time. Damn near could see through time, that foot pad would have done damage to it again.

I totally get your point and you are correct. But consider there are some occassions have been known to help as well. Very good post Ferfal.

P.P. Mazzini said...

Re. shooting with gloves. Good point. Many shooters will be surprised that they can not even reach the trigger when wearing gloves, especially on double action pistols such as the Sig or Beretta series. Better to incorporate a "remove glove" then draw drill, if that is the case, IMHO.


hsu said...

I am going to second Lasik surgery.

It was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my entire life.

As for another poster talking about how glasses saved him, I just want to point out that post-lasik surgery, you tend to wear sunglasses a lot, so your sunglasses would have probably protected you from those same accidents.

The whole world is brighter post-lasik, so you end up wearing sunglasses far more frequently than before.

FerFAL said...

Thanks Tin Man, a second book is in the make but it will take some time.
I was adding chapters thinking to make an updated edition of the first one but 1) it was jst too much stuff I wanted to add 2)It was no longer just Economic Collapse. So I decided to put some more time and made a second book.


Anonymous said...

Your first pistol needs to be a .22LR as similar to your major caliber choice. Buy 2 bricks of 22 and when you finish the second your time to get good on the major caliber will be very short. If local laws prohibit the 9X19 go to the .38Super or the 357Sig or the 40 S&W.

Pitt said...

January 27, 2011 7:06 AM

Anonymous said...
Your first pistol needs to be a .22LR as similar to your major caliber choice. Buy 2 bricks of 22 and when you finish the second your time to get good on the major caliber will be very short.

Anon: FerFal is right, because if you only have one pistol or one gun period, it should probably be a high capacity 9mm. If I only had one/first gun, I wouldn't want it to be a 22. I want it to be something I can train with fairly cheaply and fight with effectively. Fighting with a .22 is probably not going to turn out well.