Category Archives: Training

The String Measurement

Recently we discussed some very old marksmanship in connection with Civil War sharpshooters (see this post and this one, and there’s more to come, thanks to expert Fred Ray). And a couple of commenters asked about the “string” measurement of marksmanship precision and accuracy that was used at the time, and well up into the 20th Century, before modern measurements of precision (group size) and accuracy (distance from point of aim and intended point of impact) were developed.

Fortunately, the late Steve Ricciardelli of Steve’s Pages incorporated an explanation in a list of measures of group size and central tendency:

String Measurement

This is an old method still used to determine a shooter’s skill at hitting a target. It assumes the point of aim is always the desired point of impact and is simply the sum of the distances from the point of aim to each bullet hole. Originally a string was used to gather the distances, hence the name. It is still a valid measure of total error relative to the aim point. String Measurements however cannot be used to analyze sight settings because it only measures the magnitude of error, not the direction of error. It is also not a useful measure of group size because a tight group located away from the Bullseye will produce a large String Measurement.

The string measurement is old, but it remains surprisingly useful on a real-world basis, to get a broad idea of the practical accuracy of a specific shooter and firearm combination, or to put shooters in a rough rank order (say, if grouping soldiers for marksmanship training). Now, a marksman seeking to maximize performance (think of, say, a benchrest shooter) would not want to use it, because it is important to him or her to separate the possible causes of misses; you do something different if your windage is off than you do if your group is too large.

Turns out a string is useful for something, even though ATF doesn’t say it’s a machine gun any more. (Yes, they once did. But that is another story!)

A Murder in Public

We don’t know, yet, what Gary Wallock was mixed up in. If he was mixed up in the kind of thing where you can get whacked, he should have been a lot more keyed towards Condition Yellow than he was. As it was, the guy never had time to grasp what was about to hit him.

It looks like a street gang or drug-dispute related murder, for sure. Wallock was likely hit publicly and messily to send a message.

Lauderhill [FL] police are searching for the killer in Monday afternoon’s fatal shooting of Lauderdale Lakes resident Gary Wallock. As Wallock left The Lobster and Seafood Warehouse in Lauderhill, a man ran from around a corner, shot Wallock in the head, then fired several more shots into Wallock’s prone body. Investigators also want to find a 2010 blue Nissan Altima with license plate EZX-F13.

via 40-year-old Bradenton woman accused of sex with teens at her child’s party | Miami Herald.

 

 

It sure looks like a hit. The assailant is about six feet from Wallock as he opens up — his torso maybe a foot further back than that, the pistol, extended, maybe a foot closer than that — and has rushed up to him from behind. It’s not a gunfight, or a robbery “gone wrong”, or any kind of heat-of-the-moment domestic tangle. Sumdood wanted Wallock dead, and got what he wanted, directly.

But consider this — what if Wallock wasn’t specifically targeted? What if the murderer was just a nut job looking for nobody in particular? (That seems unlikely, but not impossible. Drug gang members are not known for clarity of thought and judgment). Or what if he was gunning for somebody else, and an innocent Wallock, just minding his own business, was targeted by mistake? That’s why you need to maintain superior alertness and situational awareness at all times. Wallock was engaged in an innocuous activity with a non-threatening friend when he was shot and killed from behind, and several insurance shots burned into him point-blank.

John Correia would have some points to make here on transitional spaces, but a broader point is that you are always at the greatest risk when something in front of you has your focus and you’re mostly on automatic, with your surroundings in that part of your perceptual field that’s out of mental focus.

Like when you’re walking back to your car with a doggie bag in hand, thinking about going home — the last thing that Gary Wallock, whoever he was in his life, ever did.

Aerospace Concepts for Firearms Safety

What can aviation teach us about safety? A lot, if we’re willing to look at what they’ve done, how they do it, and extrapolate from the concepts they’ve used to develop new ways of thinking of safety with firearms.

For many people, this is a dull subject, that they think is beneath them. “I’ve never had an ND, so this doesn’t apply to me.” We assure you that safety matters, and that no one is immune to mishap. Often the guy who has the ND is the same guy who read the same books as you do and who made the same “tsk, tsk” sound at the accident report on his morning news site. (Or who laughed along with us at one of our A Mess of Accidents roundups). Safety begins with the sober revelation that it can happen to you.

Reduction in accidents and fatalities

The numbers don’t lie, and once-occasional fatal mishaps have become extremely rare. The last scheduled airline crash in the United States that caused fatalities. entire years pass with no deaths. Even military flying, much more dangerous that airline aviation, is enormously safer that it was fifty years ago. Fifty years ago, the services thought nothing of losing a thousand planes and crews in crashes — every year!

Certainly part of the mishap reduction story in general aviation comes via the tightening coils of the airline-centric FAA, trying to squeeze it out of existence. GA aviators often joke that the largest office in the FAA, and the only one that has command emphasis, is the Office of Aviation Inhibition. But GA has tightened up on once-accepted practices such as flying after having a few sociables with the guys (in the 1960s, one in four fatal general aviation crashes involved a pilot with ethanol in his system).

But primarily, increased safety has come about by improving training and (especially) culture, making the safe decision the default one, and the one liable to be respected by colleagues.

Aerospace Safety Concepts and Technologies

Many concepts interweave to make the solid web of today’s air safety culture. But we’re going to focus on four formal programs that made aviation safer, and that are adaptable to professional and amateur use of firearms for self-defense, public safety, and recreation.

  • CRM – Cockpit/Crew/Complete Resource Management
  • ADM — Aeronautical Decision Making
  • Tool Accountability
  • LO/TO – Lockout/Tagout

To expand on them:

CRM is nothing more or less than using all the resources at hand, informational, material, and, especially, human. The co-pilot of 1967 was more of an under-pilot. He (and in 1967, it was always a “he”) was encouraged to sit still and shut up, letting a valuable safety cross-check from a trained professional go to waste. This video from the FAA describes the history CRM.

https://www.faa.gov/tv/?mediaId=447

Since being developed in the aviation world, CRM has spread to other fields where active risk management is beneficial, including surgery, anesthesiology, and firefighting. Why not shooting?

A primitive version of a CRM technique should be familiar to all shooters: even on ranges where only a designated individual can declare the range “hot,” anybody has the right and responsibility to call “cease fire!” in the event of an unsafe act or condition. This empowers all the shooters to be an extra set of eyes and ears for the range officer, who is (loath though some of them may be to admit it) only human.

ADM is an interesting term. It is, in fact, Judgment Training, something that many old-time pilots thought was beneath them, so research psychologist Allen Diehl renamed it Aeronautical Decision Making. Nobody’s going to be enthusiastic about attending training that questions his judgment, but who would reject the chance to get some new decision-making techniques?

One key ADM technique is to develop the skills to recognize risk-increasing hazardous attitudes, and to use an “antidote,” a sort of countervailing mantra, to back oneself down from the attitude.

Aviation hazardous attitudes include such things as:

Resignation — “Whats the use? Forget it, I give up!”
Anti-Authority —  “The law is stupid. Regulations and procedures are for the little people!”
Impulsivity — “Do whatever, but do it NOW!”
Invulnerability — “It has never happened to me before, so it can never happen to me!”
Macho — “The average person can’t do this, but I’m so far above average it doesn’t apply to me!”

For each hazardous attitude, there is an ADM countermeasure.

Against Resignation — “I can make a difference!”
Anti-Authority —  “The regulations are written in blood. They are usually right.”
Impulsivity — “Wait! Think first. In an emergency, wind your watch.”
Invulnerability — “It can happen to me if I don’t take care. The laws of physics apply to everyone.”
Macho — “Taking chances is for fools; I play it safe and solid.”

The adaptability of these to the shooting (recreational, competitive, and combat) world should be all but self-evident.

The last two concepts, Accountability and LO/TO are important because many accidents happen because of failures in firearms control and storage. The military, which has relatively few accidents (for this reason) despite a wider range of ability and maturity levels than you are likely to have in your home or business, has managed to reduce weapons loss and accountability failure to a rounds-to-zero level. Other Federal agencies that do not practice similar control culture have much greater accountability problems.

Some of these concepts have already been implemented to some extent in gun safety. We’ve seen a reduction in hunting accidents since the 1950s, and a great deal of safety training .

Sometimes, though, the training and improvement that has gone before is nothing but the foundation for a better level of safety to come. This is one of those times.

Where we can improve, In General

  • Reject the idea that the current level of accidents is normal. “Is gun, is not safe,” fine, but accidents need not happen. “Is Plane, is not safe either,” but they have made planes pretty damned safe.
  • Study every accident and scour the record for learnable and teachable lessons.
  • Develop a formal Firearms Decision Making system of judgment training, and infuse it into the training culture.
  • Develop a Resource Management program with tiers for professional and amateur firearms users, and for individuals and teams.
  • Provide Accountability and LO/TO tools to the general gun-owning public.

Some of these things are already happening, but only on a sporadic, ad hoc basis. We need to get the big organizations (NRA and NSSF) behind FDM and FRM in a big way.

Adapting CRM, ADM, TA, and LO/TO to Firearms Training

Firearms Resource Management — identifies the entire ranges of resources that are available to the sport shooter, defensive gun user, police officer, soldier, and other armed professional, and works to familiarize those gun users with how to identify and use these resources. Best done with case studies.

Firearms Decision Making — teaches using case studies of decision errors with tragic consequences. Highlights hazardous attitudes and the risks contained within, and provides tips for recognizing those attitudes in self and others, and countermeasures for each.

TA & LO/TO — provides safety-oriented training and equipment to insure that firearms are maintained under positive control.

Thump with TRUMP (No, this is NOT political)

Not the least bit political… this is an entirely different TRUMP. The guy getting sworn in Friday is Trump. TRUMP, all caps, means Training Re-Usable Mortar Projectile, and here you see a demonstration of unboxing a live M2 60mm Mortar, setting it up, and setting up TRUMP rounds and firing them.

The propellant and the on-target pyro charge are 20 gauge shotgun shells loaded with black powder. Strict limits on powder weights must be observed, lest your TRUMP rounds cross the threshold where they’d become unregistered Destructive Devices, a felony violation of the National Firearms Act. This limits the range of the mortar and the spectacle of the rounds’ detonation, but it can’t be helped. The mortar itself is a registered Destructive Device, and in the USA that is handled under the NFA like a machine gun or silencer would be, requiring ATF registration prior to possession, and a $200 transfer or manufacturing tax.

“Yeah, but,” we can hear you thinking out loud, “Where are you going to get a mortar?”

They’re around, but if your local gun store is fresh out, try the guys who made the video, Ordnance.Com. They have a website and a YouTube channel, but they also have M2 mortars just like this one and TRUMP rounds for sale on Gun Broker.

They also have 81mm TRUMP rounds, and older-style 60mm inert, reusable rounds. You can use the 60mm rounds in any 60mm mortar, and the 81mm rounds in any 81 or 82mm mortar.

TRUMP. Make Artillery Great Again.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Liberated Manuals

We’re going to be the soul of brevity on this one, because there’s no magic here at Liberated Manuals, it’s just one more source of public-domain military manuals.

They describe their raison d’être as follows:

This website is a comprehensive source of government manuals, in PDF format, free to copy, republish and distribute as you want. The goal of this website is to “liberate” government manuals from the dirty hands of CDROM selling mafia. All manuals are offered at no charge.

Sure, it’s an ugly and basic website, but on the gripping hand, it’s free stuff. What’s not to like?

There’s a list and a search function at the home page. Some of the manuals include (these are all .pdfs):

And one of our personal maintenance favorites:

There’s a lot more than just gun manuals, though. Go there and take a look around!

Kyle Defoor’s Range Gun “Inventory”

For the last week-plus, top instructor Kyle Defoor has been posting his “inventory” on his Instagram account, one a day. Our Traveling Reporter, a Defoor trainee and admirer, if not outright fan, has been linking them to us, one a day, and we’ve been waiting to assemble them and give you a single overview. Here it is; this is what’s in a single top instructor’s battery these days.

His training battery comprises eight guns, some used frequently and some for special purposes. There are four ARs (all BCM, which he endorses), two Glocks, one bolt rifle (Remington 700), and one DA/SA pistol (SIG 229 Elite). For each one, he painstakingly records the details down to the scope mount and slings and holsters, and he answers some reader questions, so for any gun that interests you, go to the linked Instagram page.

The AR Rifles

They’re all from BCM, with whom Defoor is in a committed relationship, as they say. BCM also provides the iron sights for those rifles that have ’em, and Viking Tactics (VTAC) the slings. There are a selection of calibers and lengths for specific purposes.

The most-used AR is this 11.5″ 5.56 mm Short Barrel Rifle (SBR), which is used 18-20 weeks a year for both military and civilian contracts.

The accessories include interchangeable red-dot and scope optics in Bobro mounts (Aimpoint Micro T1 and US Optics SR4-C respectively), the Streamlight Protac Rail 1 with an Arisaka Defense light mount, and a Gemtech flashhider for use with the G5T. The US Optics scope is their short-range 1-4 variable, which is presently off the market as the company overhauls its short-range line; its nearest military issue equivalent is the Elcan Spectre DR, which is not continuously variable. The SR4-C is an ingenious design, with a mil reticle (several options) on the first focal plane, which keeps the mils accurate with magnification, and a 4-moa red dot on the second focal plane. (There is an excellent five-part review of this scope at the Austin Police Marksmanship Team blog. Begin with Part 2 if you’re in a hurry; Part 1 is the justification for using a scope on a patrol carbine. Then click the left arrow to read subsequent parts).

Used 18-20 weeks a year for military contractcs and for some civilian carbine classes. My scope and Aimpoint share the same mounting slot on my top rail for ease of switching depending on what the customer wants.

Note that this is the baseline AR of a pro, and it’s run on an XM177-length barrel, probably suppressed more often than not. That’s a reflection of what’s happening in special operations units, not just in the US military, but worldwide.

Here’s a longer-barreled 5.56 AR used about 6 weeks a year for military and civilian scoped rifle classes. The barrel is 16″ stainless steel with 1/8 twist rifling and a mid-length gas system. The scope is a US Optics variable 1.8-10 power in a Bobro mount.

The Gemtech suppressor he uses with this rifle is the G5T; the rest of the accessories are the same as his other ARs.

Here’s a baseline .300 Blackout gun.  It’s got a 9″ button-rifled barrel. This one is used a few times a year for “specialized military contracts,” and is set up with a Gemtech flash hider for The One silencer.

What seems to be “the usual” KD4 accessories: BCM flip-up sights; VTAC Sling;  Aimpoint Micro T1 on a Bobro Mount; Streamlight Protac Rail 1 with an Arisaka Defense light mount. One thing this carbine has got that the others haven’t is a cleaning rod secured to the rail with zip ties.

And finally, this one’s just for hunting. It’s a 16″ .300 Blackout rifle with a 1/8 button-rifled stainless barrel, and has similar accessories to the other ARs.

The scope is the US Optics variable 1-4 power Dual Focal Plane on (what else?) Bobro. Kyle says he uses it to take deer, coyote and wild boar.

The Precision Rifle

This rifle is a modified Remington 700 with a 7.62mm NATO 20″ 1/10 heavy barrel, threaded for use with the Gemtech Sandstorm suppressor.

The mods/accessories include: a KRG stock and bolt lift; VTAC Sling; US Optics 1.8-10 variable power scope, with the Horus H25 reticle, mounted in Badger rings; and the ubiquitous bipod from Harris Engineering. Defoor uses it for military contracts 4 weeks a year.

I can’t express how happy I am with the KRG stock. It makes a stock 700 about .5 MOA tighter throughout the spectrum of the caliber compared to an OEM buttstock and is LIGHT! The weight thing matters when I’m humping long distances for FTX’s and evals. Additionally, KRG has accessories that are smart, lightweight, easy to install, don’t cost an arm and a leg and work WELL! This is expected from KRG since their owner is a mil snipe with experience like myself. I have no affiliation with KRG but if you’re in the market for anything bolt gun you should give them a look before they take off and get super busy,

Listen up to that recommendation, precision shooters: Defoor has a pretty good track record at flagging the Next Cool Thing before it gets cool.

The Pistols

The fundamental pistol of Defoor’s battery is the G4 Glock 19.

His regular carry gun is used for almost all classes, and apart from his own sights and his (Raven Eidolon) or Safariland holster, the only thing not stock Glock is the barrel, a KKM.

I’ve been using match barrels in Glock pistols for over 10 years now. I started using KKM’s somewhere around 2010 or 11 — long before it become the popular barrel of choice it is now. I also used Wilson combat match barrels for Glocks back when you had to fit them. I prefer hand fitting a barrel because I can make it even more accurate.

But he recommends you be in no rush to replace the barrel:

I tell everyone my opinion is to shoot the Glock pistol stock and wait to get a match barrel when you notice groups starting to open up a bit. In my experience this happen somewhere between 80 and 100,000 rounds.

In case you were wondering why Tier 1 units that shoot obsessively day in and day out went to the Glock, a lot of the answer is packed into that paragraph above. He also points out that the match barrel is match, not magic:

A match barrel will not help you magically shoot better all of the sudden. All it does is hone good fundamentals a little more. The average difference that I have measured over tens of thousands of shooters between a stock barrel and a match barrel at 25 yards on an NRA B-8 bull is somewhere between 3-4 points or around an inch tighter- both of these metrics are with a 10 round group from the standing unsupported position.

For about four weeks a year, for certain military contracts, he uses this older G2 G19, set up with a very unusual sight: an Aimpoint Micro on a Raven Concealment Balor mount. This one has had fewer rounds through it and still has a Glock barrel.

Sometimes he’ll just mount this slide on a G19 frame that allows a weaponlight or weapon laser. Same holsters; but he has some interesting observations on the Aimpoint vs. the more common pistol red dot, the Trijicon RMR.

If you want to go the route of a red dot on a pistol using an Aimpoint Micro will give you faster results in performance than an RMR. This is due to the Aimpoint being a tube and an RMR being a flat plane red dot. I’ve had great success and starting people off with a set up like this and then transitioning them to an RMR later.

I’ve assembled dozens of guns like this one for people who are older and whose eyesight just does not allow them to shoot irons affectively anymore — it’s amazing to see the reaction of people when they can shoot and perform the way they did 40 or 50 years ago. The Micro is definitely harder to conceal and will require some adjustments of clothing and belt type, along with a quality holster like mine. Safari land 6000 series holsters can be easily modified with a Dremel to hold this set up and still maintain retention. There are multiple reasons for MIL/LE to use this setup, although I recommend to all of our clients to issue two slides; one setup like this and one with traditional sights.

Sounds like we need one of these, or a trip back to the eye surgeon. (May not be an option. Our guy, the brilliant Dr Jack Daubert of West Palm Beach, has unfortunately had to retire).

Finally, there’s the SIG 229 Elite, which is used with organizations that use SIGs, or other DA/SA guns rather than striker-fired, and that don’t have a loaner gun for Defoor to use himself while conducting training.

Nothing magical here, just a pistol. About the only unusual thing here is that he got Raven to make him a one-off holster for the gun.

I also will sometimes use this when I’m training units that shoot a Berretta 92 when they can’t supply me with one (I don’t own a 92).

And that wraps up one instructor’s training and defensive battery. Instead of having many guns (either in quantity or in battery) he has stuck to basic platforms, and plowed his efforts into training instead. There’s a lesson in that if we want to pick up on it.

Update

This post has been corrected. Kyle’s main go-to Glock 19 is a G4, not a G3 as we erroneously reported. We regret the error. -Ed.

Self-Defense Lessons from a Mass Murder

Here’s John Correia from Active Self Protection again, with a grim set of lessons from a mass murder that took place at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington on 23 Sep 16. The police still express puzzlement about the motives of the shooter, Arcan Cetin (AR-zhahn SHEE-tin), a naturalized or derived citizen of Turkish birth. Several factors include his expressed admiration for ISIL (although he does not seem to have been an observant moslem), a lengthy violent criminal record, and possible mental illness. He concentrated on women, and some media reports say he called out the names of one victim he knew, Sarai Lara, to get her attention before he killed her.

His chosen weapon was a Ruger 10/22 (a rifle that even before this crime, Washington AG Bob Ferguson had demanded be banned). He stole the gun (and two others that he did not use) from his father. Cetin killed by getting close to his victims and plying them with multiple shots. When he finished, he dropped the weapon and exited the mall. Surveillance video led police to his car, and him, within 24 hours. He is now awaiting trial for the murders you are about to see.

We do not normally say this, but this video shows actual homicides. Consider that before you decide to watch it.

John makes great points, framing it with the Run, Hide, Fight methodology as well as his usual expectation that people frame desperate-situation survival with his own mantra: Attitude, Skills, Plan.

We were going to add a comment about how unfortunate it is that no one was armed in the mall that night, and how we were surprised that John (who misses little) would have missed that. But we found this in his description of this video on YouTube:

An additional lesson on this mass shooter…there was an off-duty Sheriff in Macy’s that night, but HE DIDN’T HAVE HIS GUN ON HIM. That makes me so upset. Carry your dang firearm, friends. Everywhere.

Amen.

It’s worse. Island County Sheriff Mark Brown was in the mall with his wife, unarmed, and so his decision was to hide. And he was so embarrassed about that act of cowardice — which is exactly what it was — that he kept that fact secret for a month. Embarrassed? He should be.

More of John’s always sensible and frequent analyses — the guy posts a video every day, for crying out loud! — at his website at ActiveSelfProtection.com and his YouTube channel.

 

Join the Force

 

“Join the Force!” Says the Fort Worth, TX, PD.

Some of you may relate to the travails of the firearm instructor.

We’d say, “Use the Force,” but before you get to Jedi level you might be well-advised to begin with, “Use the sights.” Just sayin’.

Also, who has seen that look of blank shock and dismay, directed from the guy who just ND’d at his weapon, as if the machine done did it?

Update

We replaced the embed, which was working here, but apparently nowhere else, with one direct from FWPD’s you tube channel. Let us know.

They’ve used this theme before. Here, last year’s recruiting cycle: Darth Vader interviews for a patrolman job.

And this spring, an attempt to bring in a lateral hire didn’t quite work out. They sized up the guy on a ride-along and it went… well, just watch.

The US Code of Conduct

One of the things one learns as a recruit is the Code of Conduct for American Soldiers (etc). The Code was introduced after the Korean War and has an interesting history. Here, Jack Webb introduces it, then called the Code of Conduct of the American Fighting Man, in a 1959 training film. Webb is best known today for his deadpan detective on the long-running police procedural Dragnet, but his best movie role as The D.I. may have got him this gig.

The US did not have such a code prior to the Korean War. Given the extreme resistance displayed, sometimes to the point of death, by US Prisoners of War in Japanese and German camps, none was thought to be needed. The behavior of some prisoners held by the North Koreans and Chinese during the 1950-53 Korean War came as a shock.

Some prisoners captured in this conflict went far beyond the name, rank and serial number that POWs are compelled to provide to their captors, and provided not only information, but also propaganda statements and other active collaboration. While many of these men were conscripts and short-service officers poorly acculturated to the military, this behavior was so contrary to both past experience and leaders’ expectations of the conduct of American fighting men as to alarm the military and drive the creation of a military code or creed.

The Norks and Chinese did not seek tactical or technical information, in their interrogations. They sought to break men just for the sake of breaking them, and they also sought converts to their Marxist faith.

Accordingly, the Eisenhower Administration proposed and promulgated a Code of Conduct. Marion F. Sturkey wrote, in The Warrior Culture of the US Marines, that:

After the war the American armed forces jointly developed a Code of Conduct.  The President of the United States approved this written code in 1955.  The six articles of the code create a comprehensive guide for all American military forces in time of war, and in time of peace.  The articles of the code embrace (1) general statements of dedication to the United States and to the cause of freedom, (2) conduct on the battlefield, and (3) conduct as a prisoner of war.

The Code was established by Executive Order 10631 of Aug. 17, 1955; since then it has been modified by XOs 11382 of Nov. 28, 1967, 12017 of Nov. 3, 1977, and 12633 of Mar. 28, 1988.

Some of the changes have been minute or driven by desire to update to the latest politically correct terminology. Others have been more substantive.

The biggest change came after the Vietnam War. At the time, the Code came in for criticism due to its inflexibility. A number of stubborn captives (Rocky Versace springs immediately to mind) resisted to death. This led to a code with a little more “give” in it than the original, solid version Webb uses here.

Frankly, we prefer the Webb version. In captivity, the war is not over, it continues.

Armed Self Defense in Wisconsin

Here’s a video from John Correia over at Armed Self Defense (they have a new website, so new it still has greeked text in places! No doubt they’ll fix it. On the downside, the new site has broken all the old ASP links). John talks not about the legalities of the situation, but about the tactical decision making by the defender. Most of the decisions are good, in that the defender and the bystanders didn’t get shot or dead, but as always there are lessons to be learnt from what he did wrong as well as what he did right.

Note that he got something tyro hunters are warned against: “buck fever!” In this case he didn’t have a nice eight-pointer in his sights (they always grow a few points when you miss or don’t get the shot off, don’t they?) but a guy who could have actually killed him. John has other videos where things don’t end well for the licensee or undercover cop when the criminal has the drop on him.

We never draw a pistol without hearing Paul Poole’s voice: “Bwaw-haw-haw! Dumbass dry-fired in a firefight! Bwaw-haw-haw, you’re daid!” This guy didn’t end up “daid,” but if the criminal had been less of a bozo than the usual run of his ilk, he might have been. One begins to see the appeal of safetyless Glocks. (Well, we’re on the side of the angels with a decocker-only DA/SA. And yeah, that means doing lots of controlled pair drills DA first).

At 3:28 in the video, John is explaining that Our Hero is monkeying with his safety, but also, look where he is, where his attention is, and where the robber is. Are there two robbers?! He’s face down in the mechanics of the gun — people, that old military thing of handling the gun blindfolded, assembling it inside a laundry bag, etc. is not hazing but valuable training — while the guy who pushed up the adjacent aisle is behind him at his approximate 7 o’clock. Meanwhile, one guy is in front of him, off camera to our right (defender’s left). It was a near run thing. 

He did well to holster his sidearm after firing (no doubt, police are responding, and you do not want to have it in your hand when they arrive). His decision to follow the criminal towards the door was arguable, but we call it a mistake. A robber, confronted by armed force, is not coming back. He’s running, and probably in soiled pants. Remember, chasing these guys is not your problem. It’s why Officer Friendly gets the big bucks (hah). When the bad guy bolts, your mission, to protect your, your family’s and (maybe) others’ lives, is complete.

The criminal here made some really bad decisions (apart from the obvious one of being a criminal). The first is trying to take on, solo, a group of people in a broken-up space, with multiple entrances, exits, and points of cover and concealment. Probably not the first time this Wealth Redistribution Technician has done that. (In our limited experience, robbers tend to pick one kind of venue to rob — banks, groceries, sandwich shops, small-time dope dealers, convenience stores — and stick to it until their Robin Hood life gets harshed by the agents of the Sheriff of Nottingham, or wherever). Every time this brain-dead robs a place like this he’s rolling the dice that there won’t be a guy like this carrier in here — math that was encouraged by Wisconsin’s former no-carry laws — and this time the dice came up snake eyes.

This case is also interesting because this was the first defensive gun use by a licensed carrier since Wisconsin left the dwindling ranks of no-carry states a couple of years ago. (It was the last holdout, apart from Illinois (since issuing) and DC, although there are still states like New Jersey and some jurisdictions in New York, California and Massachusetts that treat may-issue as de facto no-issue).