Ouch!!! Points on Safety…Training…Equipment Selection

This video was forwarded to me by one of my students.  It is an amazing video that brings up various points related to equipment selection, training, and of course safe gun handling.  My comments are not meant to belittle or ridicule the individual in the video (Mr. Grebner).  As a point of training it is essential that we shed our egos if we truly desire to move beyond remedial issues and mistakes.  Mr. Grebner demostrated this through his willingness to share his experience so those who can learn from others’ mistakes have that opportunity.

Safety…Training…Equipment Selection

The first issue with this incident is directly related to the NRA’s rules for safe gun handling:

1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction

2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shooT

3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use

The 3rd rule also supports the ideal of “always treating all firearms as though they are loaded”. 

Clearly this incident would not have happened if the pistol was not pointed at his leg or if his finger had not been on the trigger, ok so that’s pretty clear so what’s my point?  Training – plain and simple.  As a person seeks to develop useful defensive skills with a firearm, s/he needs first understand the duality that exists between speed and accuracy and then develop those skills at an appropriate pace to both push their speed & accuracy, while still maintaining (and further ingraining) their safe gun handling skills (again this is not an assessment of Mr. Grebner’s skill or ability – this is in reference to the skills possessed by the readers of this post.)  It is important to push your skills, but at the same time it is essential that you only operate as fast as you can “control” your actions.  This is not to suggest that you can never miss the target in training, but you should strive to hit the target and you are ALWAYS responsible for the rounds you fire, they must impact the berm/trap and be fired when you intend for them to be fired.

If your objective is to increase your presentation speed, a great method of decreasing your time, while increasing your skill is to practice this skill set dry before going live.  At first it might seem a little silly to “dry practice” at the range, but that feeling goes away quickly.  As in the video, if the objective is to draw quickly to the retention position, practice the draw to retention and the trigger press 10 or 15 times with an unloaded/empty pistol, slowly pushing the speed each time on the draw and presentation, but maintaining control over the safety and the orientation between the trigger and trigger finger.   A good tool for this type of practice is a shot timer.  By setting a par time, you can After you are comfortable with the mechanics of the draw, go live, but DON’T start out at full speed.  Start out slow and work your times down from there.  This issue is at the heart of this training company…crawl, walk, run…

An issue brought forth from the video was related to equipment selection, specifically focused on holsters, it also mentioned moving from one pistol to another.  I’m not endorsing brands of equipment, but would like to make a couple of points on the issue of equipment.  The first is that all of the gear mentioned in the video is quality gear, the bigger issue is moving back and forth between holsters and pistols.  I strongly recommend that if your objective is to be good with a pistol, then train with that pistol and that holster.  Don’t play the “gun of the week” game, or let yourself get bored with your holster and switch from day to day.  I have two holsters that I work from on a regular basis – a duty holster and a plain clothes holster.  On occasion, I have the need for a different mode of carry, but that is the exception and in those instances, I take about 5 minutes to work my draw/presentation with an empty gun before leaving the house.  Of course, I’d like to swap out pistols regularly, but I stick with the full-sized or compact duty pistol depending on my assignment that day.  While I am a big fan of 1911’s, I will challenge new shooters to take it slow and master the thumb safety and trigger finger positioning on the 1911 before practicing intermediate or advanced skills.  1911’s are great, accurate pistols, but part of that is due to triggers that are not forgiving of mistakes.  I’ve seen plenty of skilled shooters put rounds in the dirt 3 feet in front of them because they were trying to index the trigger like they were used to with their Glocks or Sigs, but the 4 pound, 1/8 inch trigger won’t allow for that kind of sloppiness.

Finally as Mr. Grebner said, if you are not a member of the NRA please consider joining and thanks to those who serve this country – God Bless.