Intermediate to advanced tactics include being able to transition from a long-arm to a handgun. There are several instances where this is a necessary skill set for the tactical operator. The most common reason is because the long-arm has stopped working or when the long-arm may not be practical to use. In this video, we see the transition from a pump-action tactical shotgun to a handgun.
In order to accomplish this safely and effectively there’s a couple of foundational concepts that must be understood for the effectiveness of this tactic. First, the operator should be skilled enough so that they can feel that the firearm has stopped working and they must immediately take corrective action. If the operator hasn’t noticed that the firearm has stopped working (a stoppage), he will likely repeat an ineffective action. For example, if the firearm stops working and the operator hasn’t noticed but continually tries pressing the trigger on the firearm, valuable time is wasted. In a real gun-fight this could cost you your life. The problem is compounded when the operator hasn’t had enough experience in stoppages and he has to confirm the stoppage by looking at the firearm to figure out his next step! Time is better spent by getting a firearm back in operation and on target, moving out of harm’s way, or preferably BOTH! Another foundational concept is the availability of cover and the distance from the threat area. The closer the threat, the more immediacy for getting a firearm back up and on target. The operator must make a decision; do I clear the stoppage or do I transition to my handgun? The answer will be predicated on variables such as the proximity to the threat, the type of threat, the availability of cover, the skill level of the operator and the complexity of the stoppage. This is exactly what the operator should be thinking about, not why isn’t the gun working? Keep in mind some of the following examples of detecting a stoppage: There is a distinct difference in felt recoil when a shotgun goes “click” and not “bang”, a distinct feeling when the slide of a handgun locks back rather then moving forward to chamber a new cartridge, and a distinct noise transmitted through the buffer tube of an AR15 type when the bolt chambers a new cartridge and says “ping” rather than when the bolt locks back and says, “pong”. Get to the know the feeling of a stoppage.
In this drill, the shotgun operator fires his shotgun until it is dry and then immediately transitions over to the handgun. The technique for the transition is such that the safety on the shotgun is engaged and the muzzle is placed in a safe direction. Yes, the safety goes “On”. This happens simultaneously as the operator uses his support hand to lower and secure the long-arm to his belt line, wasting no time. That’s exactly what is occurring in the image. If operator is really proficient, they’ll reach for the handgun and locate it through felt muscle memory in order to allow for an efficient draw while finishing the transition. In the video, the operator chooses to draw and adopt a two-handed grip on the handgun, mostly due to the distance from the target. Another option, depending upon the skill set of the operator, that may expedite the presentation process and minimize the “pendulum” effect (the long arm tugging the operators neck from momentum) is to draw one-handed. If you also notice, the use of a tactical sling facilitates a safe muzzle position when it’s not held. This also allows the operator easy access in order to reacquire the grip and firearms controls. Finally, it places the long-arm within arm’s reach. This is one piece of equipment that can help immensely.
The last foundational concept is that the best transition is one that doesn’t occur. So maintain good operational skills by keeping the chamber loaded, the firearm fed with ammo and in good working order so that stoppages and thus transitions are limited.
This is a skill set that we practice routinely in our Advanced classes. We utilize and repeat a variety of drills to simulate real-world situations so that the operator makes safe and tactical decisions, and how to best work through a stoppage.
ADVANCED SHOOTING DRILLS – LEARNING TO SHOOT AND MOVE WITH A FIREARM AND FLASHLIGHT.
Learning to shoot in low and dim light situations is a critical skill if you choose to protect yourself in your own home. Utilizing a firearm mounted flashlight is a beneficial tool that will help you in acquiring this skill and is a much better alternative than just using a handheld light. A handheld light creates an unstable shooting platform, whereas a weapon mounted light has the benefit of having the bore and the flashlight beam mechanically aligned. Wherever the firearm is directed, so is the flashlight beam . The shooting grip and stance remain the same. Most modern firearm mounted flashlights have enough illumination to help you identify the threat AND temporarily blind them with the light, typically causing them to look away, and possibly raising their hands to block your light. Quality made lights have this and some other great features as well.
Looking at this video and examining the drill, I want you to notice how the student has been trained to approach the threat and keep the muzzle of the firearm relatively level and on target. In this drill, the student was told to move forward and then while moving, a target is called out (there are six numbered circles on the outside of the target silhouette). The student is then required to locate the target area and engage it, all while moving. This is yet another acquired skill that is necessary when learning how to defend yourself with a handgun. Advanced low-light drills should allow for the manipulation of the on-off switches of the flashlight and identification and location of the threat. Notice how the shooter removes his finger from the trigger at appropriate times, manipulates the flashlight on-off switch and keeps the muzzle oriented at the threat area. I recommend learning the features of the light, such as the on-off switches, the cone of illumination and the knowing the power of the light. Some switches turn off upon the release of pressure and some stay on until they are turned off. Learn how these switches function by feel and prevent errors in light disciple and tactics.
One of the most important “operator issues” to keep in mind when using any flashlight is knowing when to when to turn the light on and off. This is known as “light-discipline”. Know when to turn your light on and off, and make sure that when it is supposed to be off, it is off and not kept on inadvertently. Keeping your light on for no viable reason will attract the attention of your adversary and possibly his bullets. Neither of these are desirable, so try utilize the low-light conditions to your advantage, especially if the adversary does not know your location.
Does all of this mean that you can forget about using your regular (non-firearm mounted) flashlight (non-firearm mounted flashlight)? Not at all, and there are two primary reasons here. Pointing a firearm at someone is a legal Use of Force issue, whether you’re in your own home or not. You shouldn’t be using your firearm mounted flashlight to illuminate a person that is not considered a deadly force threat. This can lead to the legal jackpot and even a horrible mistake. And secondly, remember that anything with batteries is going to fail at some point. Having an alternative method of illumination and knowledge of alternative techniques is a must.
Lastly, make sure that the firearm functions properly with a light attached. Some polymer pistols may not function reliably and may require some minor modifications to them to ensure they function reliably. Overall, please remember to train with your tools, understand how they work under real-life circumstances and develop this skill set so that you can focus on your threat and not the operation of the firearm mounted flashlight.
A COMMON QUESTION WE RECEIVE IS: WHEN DO I USE MY SAFETY? The general answer is to put the safety “off” when you are going to shoot the firearm, otherwise keep it on. But unless the use of a safety is incorporated into the presentation of a firearm, the shooter can easily forget about the safety, resulting in a miscue. This miscue during competition may can cause a loss of points, however in typical operation or in self-defense scenario it can cost a life. Remember, the operator of a firearm should always know the condition of it. The operator should know and verify by TOUCH whether it’s loaded or unloaded, what position the safety is in, if it’s in battery (a cartridge in the chamber and the slide is locked forward) and have a pretty good idea as to the amount of ammunition is in it. Remember that a safety is a mechanical device and should never be used in place of safe firearms handling. A nice feature of the AR platform is that when applying the safety, the index finger comes off the trigger as the thumb switches the safety off.
This principle can be applied to other firearms platforms as well. It’s especially applicable to 1911 types, Browning HiPower types.
The key to proficient firearms handling is use to utilize the sense of touch. The use of firearms is tactile based.
The Tic Toc Drill is a drill designed to help new AR operators manipulate and then identify the location of the safety by touch. Continue reading »
So you bought your new handgun and received some basic instruction. You’ve now found a fun hobby, learned something new and gained some confidence thinking that your handgun could help defend you at some possible point. Our handgun home defense classes are a must for you. Before you consider your handgun training complete, consider the
So you bought your new handgun and received some basic instruction. You’ve now found a fun hobby, learned something new and gained some confidence thinking that your handgun could help defend you at some possible point. Before you consider your handgun training complete, consider the elements under which you would have to defend yourself or a loved one. It may be dark or dim-light. There will probably be a lot of confusion and chaos. You may have difficulty in determining who the person is and if they’re a threat to your safety. Is it difficult for you to grab and load your handgun in the dark? These are host of questions that we address during our Handgun Home Defense Classes. This video is a simple drill that we use to bring awareness to our students as to how difficult it may be to safely operate and identify a threat in low-light conditions. Our Handgun Home Defense classes provide skills and develops awareness and understanding to better make decisions that could ultimately significantly effect several lives. Proper use of flashlight, proper loading and unloading, proper muzzle control and understanding of ballistics are very important. What is critical is that you continuely test your tactics as well as yourself to make sure that you are fully prepared.
This is a 1 day class at tactical training center oriented towards the semi-automatic military rifle. These rifles include the M1A/M14 type, the M1 Garand, the AR10, the FN-FAL type. Instruction will be given on the proper method of loading/unloading, reloading, stoppage drills and shooting stance. Instruction will also be given on the utilization of
Handgun 101 is an introduction to the Basic Function, Operation, and Maintenance for the new handgun owner/user. This course provides the new handgun user with basic information of how handguns function, ballistic information, how they are safely and effectively operated, and how they are maintained. The Course will include classroom demonstration and student interaction, active