Tag Archives: concealed carry situations

Studying is a Necessary Part of Self-Defense

15 Jan

booksMention studying to most gun owners and images of target shot groupings or the latest issue of Guns and Ammo spring to mind.

However for the serious concealed carry practitioner, intent on honing their skills, studying is more than visiting the shooting range and leisure reading.

Developing a proficiency in situational awareness and conflict avoidance, as well as learning to recognize alternative options in potentially dangerous situations, all require a certain amount of diligence.

In his article “Are You Studying Enough”, author Kevin Michalowski reiterates the importance of devoting time to the academic side of self-defense and preservation at USConcealedCarry.com:

“If things go as far as a fight, well, that’s a problem.  It is of course a problem you need to solve and a situation in which you need to prevail, but I would still call participation in a gunfight something of a failure.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)

Michalowski recommends several books that are beneficial for people who carry concealed.  The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker is high on his list.  This book concentrates on helping the reader understand personal limitations, fears, and likely reactions in order to overcome, or at least recognize said fears when a dangerous situation presents itself.

Another book on Michalowski’s recommended reading list is In the Gravest Extreme by Masaad Ayoob.  This book is a guide to legal and ethical issues that may arise from gun ownership.  For the concealed carry community, these issues are particularly relevant.

Going to the shooting range to practice is a great idea, but it becomes less productive if you don’t know which body parts and organs you should fire at in order to neutralize a threat.  Michalowski recommends purchasing an inexpensive wall chart showing the human anatomy.

By taking a few minutes now and then to study the chart, you will soon get a feel for where to aim.  In an actual firefight, the goal is to bring the subject down as quickly as possible, not to aim for a good grouping.

A little more time spent studying will result in improved confidence and preparation not only on the range, but on the street as well.

Self-Defense: What to Do When You Have Few Options

23 Oct

Part of your training in carrying a firearm for self-defense should include the possibility that you’ll be caught by surprise and faced with an opponent who already has their gun drawn and pointed at you. This all happens before you have the chance to draw yours. man aiming gun

Realistically, this is a situation with a small chance of success and very few ways to do anything to improve your odds.

Unfortunately, there is a chance it could happen and you should make an effort to understand the dynamics at play.

You should practice different responses so you have some skills at your disposal and don’t go down without a fight.

Generally speaking, if you are in a situation where a gun is drawn on you, then you might have failed regarding situational awareness.

It is possible to be surprised even when you are situationally aware, but it’s much more it’s far more difficult for a person who’s been paying attention to be unpleasantly surprised.

The issue with trying to access your firearm when one is already pointed at you leaves you with few options. The ticking of the clock is not on your side here. In the few seconds it takes you to draw, aim, and fire your weapon, the other person can already fire several rounds into you.

Author Gabe Suarez tested this very situation out with a “bad” guy aiming an airsoft pistol at an armed “good” guy who had to draw and fire while having a gun aimed at them. He describes the results of the experiment in his article “Outdrawing the Drawn Pistol” on USConcealedcarry.com

“Every good guy got shot. A few managed to get shot peripherally, rather than in the center of the body, but nonetheless, they got shot. If they stood still to draw, they got shot immediately. The best results were achieved by moving off-line and sharply to the adversary’s outside line (the 1:00 o’clock or 11:00 o’clock) while drawing.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)

Gabe also mentioned that trying to run away often results in the fleeing person being shot in the back. Unfortunately, if you are facing a drawn weapon, your options are severely limited. Escaping this type of situation unharmed will often come down to how you respond and what the attacker is looking for, not to mention a little luck.

For example, if all the attacker is looking to do is rob you, then your best option by far is to slowly and carefully remove your wallet or purse and throw it between the two of you. Hopefully this will be what they want and allow you to escape the scene unharmed. A few dollars and a driver’s license aren’t worth anyone’s life or health.

However, if you’re certain that this person intends to kill you, and then you may decide to take the 3 to 1 odds that Gabe Suarez mentions in his article and go down shooting.

No two situations are alike and the result can come down to your ability to rapidly assess matters and make the best decision for the specific events facing you.

How to Accurately Hit Your Target without Using the Sights

21 Aug

In most self-defense situations, your target will be close enough that traditional aiming by using the sights won’t be necessary. For the most part, the threat will be there right in front of you, no more than a few yards away.
hands aiming pistol
Generally speaking, this is the case because an attacker wants you or something you have.

To get what they want, they must approach you within speaking and grabbing distance and as a result, they are close enough. 

They have said or done things that let you know they are a true threat as opposed to someone making threatening gestures from across the street.

There are very few times that shooting an attacker at a distance such as across a street is appropriate. You carry to defend yourself and most threats must be up close and personal to warrant deadly force.

In fact, if someone is shooting at you from across the street, your best action at that point would be to get behind something solid and avoid firing shots back. You never want to risk a stray bullet hitting a bystander.

As a citizen carrying concealed, you are primarily interested and licensed to carry for self-defense. Most offensive shooting is best left to the police who are trained for such situations. 

Author Jim Malo talks about how sights are not usually needed in his article “Pistol Perfection” on USConcealedcarry.com: 

“One thing that may save you is the point shoulder (point shooting) method of firing your weapon. You draw the weapon, focus on the center mass of what you see coming at you, point the front of the weapon (the muzzle) at the center mass and press the trigger, using a double tap. You will be amazed at just how close the shots will fall.” (Read more from Malo at USConcealedCarry.com)

The process of lining up the sights adds time to your response and that extra second or two can mean the difference between surviving and getting shot. 

It is important to note that target practice at the range is still incredibly necessary. Using the sights to accurately place shots on targets helps you get to know your weapon better and use it more instinctively.

Practicing with your firearm helps imprint how it handles into your mind. Take every available opportunity to practice shooting both with and without using the sights. You may have to defend your life tomorrow.