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American Handgunner Sep/Oct 2010 - Page 32

Clint Smith REALITYCHECK TM FIRST-PERSON THOUGHTS ON SURVIVING IN THE REAL WORLD PRACTICE ODD STUFF O ver the last 40 years I’ve seen some odd stuff. Often, shooting positions for actual field use are “different” from the range positions we practice. These odd shooting positions fall in step with the concept of “What we think the fight will be, versus what the reality of the fight turns out to be.” Perceptions — training or otherwise — of what fights will be and the realities of what fights actually are, can change places when they are applied in the real world. During the 1960s through the early 1980s, we shot the PPC Practical (it wasn’t) Pistol (we mostly shot revolvers) Course. It was presumed to be good because we shot, and all shooting is good? Then again it showed us not all range practices are good, and some training and shooting didn’t always work when applied on the street. With no disrespect intended, there are issues duly noted and recorded at places like Newhall, Calif., where officers had empty brass in their pockets and loaded with their heads down, allowing suspects to get close. Salient points like the applied “roll over rifle prone” by the cops who took out the final suspect at North Hollywood, and the Miami FBI shooting “lost eye glasses, hit placement” issues have shown us how simple things can affect how the fight winds up in the end. I didn’t bring these up as good or bad, so much as they were simply the way things happened. Like all things in life, whether or not they are good or bad in the final analysis is based on whether we learn from them — or not. o as to not be caught unaware, you should practice odd stuff. Like shooting under cars, fences, furniture or a wall using representations of these kinds of things. Shooting, using both hands, one hand, right hand, left hand while standing, kneeling or lying down would all be helpful skills. Shooting over stuff, like the hood of your car, or over the bedroom dresser should be tempered with the faxt getting shot back at and hit in the head is a bad thing. Maybe shooting around cover or concealment would be better as it makes you less of a good target. Subtle thoughts might ring in your ears as you train. People shoot you because they see you, so don’t let them see you. You have the rest of your life to solve this current problem — how long your life lasts depends on how well you solve it. If you can shoot on a live fire range I think the buddy system is a good way to go. Everyone remembers the buddy system of going swimming with a partner so if something goes wrong, help is at hand. Not to be a pessimist, but if you actually train and work some of this odd stuff there is always a possibility something could go wrong. Don’t do it alone. I think speed is one of the biggest enemies of learning, so I recommend going slow and looking and talking to your partner about drawing strokes, arc of the muzzle during the draw and being damn careful putting the gun back in the holster during repetition drills. Recording and reviewing a video of you doing what you do is also a good way to learn. The bottom line here is, go slow, be careful and watch what’s going on. The big expert-shooting world today is speed, speed and speed. I got it. But don’t worry about the speed fairy, just shoot good. The “shoot-fast-speed-fairy” will show up to your real gunfight on her own accord. The “hit-the-target-fairy” and you will be responsible for what you shoot, so you’ll need to bring her with you to your fight. PracticE s a Good idEa M any of you reading this either do not have a facility that will allow shooting of this nature. A good solution would be to buy a “blue-gun” like a Ring’s from Brownells that represents the same type of weapon you carry. This “plastic gun” will let you practice drawing, rolling, falling, crawling one hand, two hands, strong or opposite side shooting all without blowing a hole through yourself or the house. This of course sounds condescending or stupid unless you’ve shot a hole in your house before, or have read in the paper about the guy killed while cleaning his “unloaded” gun. After that, the plastic practice gun sounds pretty clever. I know it doesn’t trigger press, cock, cycle, load and weigh the same as your real gun sometimes — and it also doesn’t blow a hole in your leg or house either. The ultimate odd position would be setting on the floor waiting for the ambulance to arrive. So, train for odd positions, safely remembering that what we think a fight might be may be different from what really happens. Learning new gun-skills in the middle of an on-going fight is a bad thing. Train up now. * Heidi’s not being lazy on the job, just making sure she knows what it might be like to fight from the front seat. On-the-ground, off-hand draw. Who says it can’t happen, but get proper training for it now. Randy takes a shot from the “laying on my belly and trying to hit him anyway” position. Learn, adjust, try it out now so there’s fewer surprises later. 32 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER2010

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