(NOT the modern AR-15 rifle clone, you ninnies!)
The classic, later known as the Model 10 .38 Special revolver.
I’ve never owned one. I’ve shot a bazillion of ‘em, and carried some. With the exception of those without the strength to pull the trigger, I’ve recommended these (or similar models) for self protection, CCW, and general home/business carry for years.
Why? Not everyone likes the semiautomatic, even those with minimal levers and buttons (e.g. Glock). And the .38 Special cartridge is street-proven, but not so full of blast and flash to scare the new shooter more than the shootee! Good for a beginner.
Barrel length? That’s a matter of personal choice, although a 4″ barrel is fairly ubiquitous and inexpensive (used) at gun shows and pawn shops.
And they come with a fixed sight – nothing to hang up, break or misalign on a coat or in a purse. One could ‘bob’ the hammer and remove the single action function if one were moved to do so.
Disadvantages? Medium caliber and six rounds; slow to reload. Although I’ve known a few folks who could reload from belt loops two-rounds-at-a-time faster shot-to-shot than some folks using a pistol with a magazine!
And, I’m old-school, so there!
Cornered Cat|Scratching Post always presents such well-reasoned wisdom. You should read this link in particular, if you’re not already reading her blog. Then you should remedy the situation by reading it, regularly.
Kathy Jackson walks us through the thought process of the new female shooting student. After all, generally women are more concerned with fashion dictates. (Yes, I know, Brigid, not every woman! )
Some student concerns:
One person expressed it very well when she wrote, “[The Cornered Cat] course requires a holster type I have no intention of ever using. So that means even more money spent on a holster and clothing that would only be used the days of the class.”
Another person wrote something similar: “I’d have to invest in pants with belt loops, belt, and holster that I would probably never use again just to take one or two classes.”
Putting a loaded gun into a holster is the single most dangerous thing anyone ever does in a professional firearms training class.
I remember Jeff Cooper poo-pooing fashion with regard to its dictates versus the need to carry safely. An no one would have ever called The Colonel a fashion plate. After all, what’s more important?
And men, don’t gloss over going to Kathy Jackson’s link because it’s aimed at women. Her above quote applies to you, as well.
Both in training and (daily) carry, safety should be our foremost concern. We are dealing with lethal instrumentalities, after all.
Fashion should come second. Or even farther down the list.
As I’m on disability, my daily wear is usually a colored T-shirt, a long-sleeve over-shirt, Wrangler jeans, a belt from The Wilderness and my diabetic orthopedic walking shoes, with my right one built-up (aka ‘Ed’, the really big shoe). On more formal occasions, I’ve been known to substitute a polo shirt. George Clooney eat your heart out! (I know – your bodyguards probably dress better!)
My shooting wear isn’t much different, except for the addition of my Tilly Hat and eyes/ears. And sunglasses.
If you need to purchase (or perhaps borrow?) some clothes or holsters to meet the requirements of a particular class, I say go for it. More training is always better.
h/t Kathy Jackson, Jeff Cooper
I wrote earlier this month regarding my two years of formal training in martial arts. Not much, I know. About 15 years later, I actively shot in I.P.S.C. – style competition for about a year. There is a similarity in these disciplines.
Most martial arts training (I’m speaking of Asian-based) begins with a set position. A formal stance from which one begins – either ‘sparring’ (usually play-acting as through striking one’s opponent), or kata (aka forms), going-through-the-motions as if encountering an opponent. Shadow boxing. Responding to an imaginary adversary.
And I.P.S.C. (and it’s later permutations) of active ‘combat’ shooting competition usual does the same thing. One starts in a particular place, with particular equipment, in a particular position. Then the whistle blows. (At least U.S.P.S.A. and I.D.P.A. have done some evolution!)
The problem in both these situations is muscle memory. We revert to that which we were trained to do. One responds to a fist to the face by an outward-extended block, trapping the arm and stepping in with a counter strike. One sees one’s adversary present a pistol in one’s direction, and the response is immediate – Grip, Clear, Click, Smack, Sight – or some variant, as one moves into Isosceles or Weaver – feet into the ‘correct’ position to respond.
WRONG. At least wrong in the real world.
Training is good. Dry practice, repetitive presentations, trigger control, sight alignment, the compressed-surprise break. Even practiced stances and grips. All good. Competition is good, especially active competition as opposed to just punching holes in paper, dueling-style. But, those are not enough, and can set in some dangerous muscle-memory habits!
Remember they used to say in malfunction clearance drills Tap, Rack, Bang? They changed it to Tap, Rack, Assess, because some folks had malfs, cleared their firearm and came out shooting. Reflexively.
The same thing applies in our training. If we train to respond with B follows A – bad things are happening, we must attain our proper stance and grip, and use both hands, and have our feet correct – we won’t have the time to find cover and respond appropriately. We will be dead.
The venerable Bruce Lee called kata vertical death – because it set a pattern of muscle memory and took unneeded time. Don’t just practice B follows A – try presenting and shooting weak handed, from prone and supine, and in a chair; and holding a heavy sack in your strong hand. If someone send a fist to your face, don’t automatically do a ‘standard’ response. Dodge the fist simultaneously doing a stop kick.
Think outside the box! Armed or unarmed.
On the street, no one will announce, “Shooter ready?!”
…in a lifetime far, far away…
I studied kenpo karate for a couple of years. This was after I’d done some self-teaching at home (books by Bruce Tegner and Bruce Lee, and others not Bruce). On at least one occasion, it did keep me alive.
Due to my leg disability, I focused mainly on hand and arm techniques, sticky and trapping hands, arm bars, hand strikes and such. I didn’t get very far belt-wise. My focus was initially philosophical, but then evolved into basics – what I could do to stay alive.
And, over the years, I’ve informally shared some knowledge with other folks who’d expressed an interest, mostly women I’ve dated and shooting students. More knowledge is better, right?
Now, my roommate (an ex-gf) has expressed an interest. We’re working on breaking holds, blocks and where and how to strike. She had been giving me grief, as we’ve known each other almost 10 years, and while I coached her on her shooting, I’ve never broached this subject. So, we started some training.
But, neither of us is a spring chicken, which makes for amusing training sessions. Lots of exclamations of ow from both teacher and student.
But, neither of us anticipate training to get to this level:
h/t Miss K
Back in the day…
I used to attend a relatively small gunshow at a local Catholic High School multi-purpose room. No unloading, open carry allowed (this was before AZCCW licensing). Just don’t touch it. On second thought, I think we had to clear it and go in empty. But we did O.C. And no nylon zip ties.
Reportedly, there were a few
accidental negligent discharges at recent gun shows nationwide. I’m certain in part to the massive new, uneducated consumership generated by the current President, and the pending rights-restrictive legislation.
I suspect this uneducated/untrained ignorance accounts for at least some of the discharges. But, then again, if the anti-gun folks are to be believed, if guns cause crime and accidents, the gun shows should have been a bloodbath.
Of course, the ‘powers that be’ don’t care about the facts; just their agenda.
h/t Roberta X
I’m quite proud of the infinitesimal dent I have made in the gun world, training and educating a few folks about gun handling and safety, self-defense and tactical awareness. Even those who went away from the classes choosing not to own a firearm, or perhaps not to carry one, have a more informed basis on which to change that decision later. And, teaching is fun! That look on the neophyte’s face when they touch off that first round and see it strike paper is well, sublime.
One of the more interesting things about the time in which we live is the instant communication offered by the Internet. And with it social networking. I discovered about a year ago that a former co-worker at TMCCC had a husband who was not only an active gunnie and shooter, he was encouraging her to do the same. And so together they have taken training, obtained their CCW permits, and collect firearms. And are also active in their children’s shooting education as well.
He is an emergency room physician, and saw the need for a gun. She saw the need to protect her family. And, my only regret is they made this evolution and didn’t know I was a firearms teacher! Otherwise, I’m quite proud of them both.
Here’s Jennifer in a recent photograph on Facebook, with her favorite shotgun. Formidable’, eh?
Roomie and I went gallivanting about the other afternoon, running some errands. We visited a local dry cleaning store. Roomie and I are helping prepare her stepmother’s house for sale (her stepmother is in a care facility at age 88). We had some draperies that needing cleaning.
“We don’t do cur-ens!” she was told. We hunted around and located another establishment that would do cur-ens.
Then, we went to T-Mobile. Roomie gets her cellular telephone/Internet service through them, and allows me access through her hotspot. Saves us both a little money over having separate services. Said hotspot wasn’t holding an Internet connection, and kept saying ‘low battery’, even though it charged all night.
I’d like to say the T-Mobile store connected the device to a machine to determine if it was the high-tech battery failing, or perhaps the device, itself. I’d like to say that, but NO. The clerk (behind the counter labelled ANSWERS) told us he didn’t know much about hotspots, then looked up the warranty info on his computer (which was built apparently by Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse using paraffin candles for illumination!) and eventually told us good news, a replacement battery was under warranty! Instead of costing $60, it was free! Plus the $7.99, no $8.99, no $11.99 handling charge for overnight delivery! (it WAS $7.99 for 5 day delivery, he explained) Special!
So, sometime tomorrow we’ll see if it’s the battery or something else that failed…(written Wednesday)
Customer Service. Yep!
PS – no battery has arrived, yet. It’s been TWO days. Overnight, yep. (1430)
PPS – the battery FINALLY arrived @ 1830 tonight. Two days, not overnight. Of course, it takes something like 12 hours for a full charge before use.
PPPS – after a lengthy charge, the new battery worked…for a few hours.
The machine is now saying ‘low battery’ yet again. Roomie is calling T-Mobile to see
if we need a replacement unit…
PPPPS – The new gizmo is scheduled to arrive Tuesday.
The adventure continues…
4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT’S BEYOND.
Female and Armed recently had a post with regard to gender bias. Specifically, males under attack by females becoming victims because their gender bias predisposes them to let their guard down, until it’s too late.
I recall a police procedure textbook wherein one chapter was dedicated to officer survival. Two examples stick in my brain: 1) A well-endowed female subject flaunting her attributes toward the officer from the driver’s seat. In between her legs was a small pistol, all but invisible to most male viewers of the photo – because they were distracted by her ample bosom. 2) An officer enters a small motel lobby to confront an armed robber. A female witness/hostage turns out to be the robber’s accomplice, shooting the officer from behind. After all, these were women, and no threat to civil authority!
Watch your back, Jack (or Jane)! Whether you’re a cop or a civilian. Cops generally have backup-you do not. Just because you are a legally-armed CCW holder doesn’t mean the bad guys won’t try something. And the bad guys might just be girls!
Mom With A Gun reminds us of the wise words of Inspector Harry Callahan, aka ‘Dirty Harry’, who said in his second movie, Magnum Force, “A man’s GOT to know his limitations.”
Tammy quotes the ever-quotable Kathy Jackson of Cornered Cat, who said,
If you are concerned enough to pull your gun out of its holster, you should be concerned enough to pull your phone out of your pocket and call for backup. Except in cases of extreme and immediate need, law enforcement officers won’t try to clear a house by themselves, without backup. Why should you?
I’ve been guilty of letting my emotions overtake my training. On mumble-mumble occasion(s), I approached my home (former home) and found a door breached. All my training (NRA ‘Gun in the Home’ trainer, CCW licensing and Az DPS CCW trainer) said back away, pull your cell telephone and call the police from a safe location. Do NOT attempt to engage.
And yet I did. And I felt compelled to enter my breached house and ‘clear’ it. Without backup. Stuff I’d drilled into my own students not to do.
Machismo? Ego? Anger? Yep, all of it. Fortunately, no burglars were present. I think I know better, now.
I do now reside in a better neighborhood.
Hopefully, I’ll never have to find out.
My right hand is only good generally for using a computer mouse.
Back-in-the-day, when I was an armed security guard, I carried left-handed. Many of those years I used my friend Dave (the
genius mechanic’s) Ruger Security Six – as I was gun poor.
We security folks even participated in competition, not unlike IPSC competition, but one had to be a licensed security guard to participate. (Burns, Pinkerton’s, Del Webb, all the big Valley security folks were invited.)
And I was dead-on with my right (OFF) hand, unlike most of the folks who couldn’t shoot their own foot with their left hand, if required to do so in the stage. Whenever there was a weak-hand stage, I was brought up to the front, because I as capable of actually doing it.
This was because I practiced with my right hand, both supported and unsupported.
Do YOU practice with your off hand? Both supported and unsupported?
In the real World, it might become necessary to shoot with your off-hand. Let’s hope not. You need both feet!