Guns for Beginners: Don’t Press Your Gun Against the Bad Guy

I recently ran a post with a SIG SAUER instructor operating operationally (SIG’s Modified Prone Position: Just Thought I’d Leave This Here). I don’t want to leave you with the impression that the SIG SAUER Academy offers anything but perfectly practical armed self-defense instruction — shooting upside down curled in a ball possibly excepted.

In this video, Adam warns us not to press the muzzle a semi-automatic handgun against the perp. Good advice. Not mentioned, but even more important: don’t hold back when you’re in a fight. Go all in. Punch, kick, bite, knee, anything and everything all at once.

Even more important than that: make sure you can draw your gun quickly and effectively at all times. (Adam mentions the possibility of catching your gun on your shirt or the drawstring of a garment.) Take extra special effort to carry your gun in a holster that offers quick, unimpeded access.

That’s true whether you’re in contact with the bad guy, a few feet away, or at a distance. Given that many, if not most defensive gun uses end without a shot fired, a quick draw is more critical even than your shooting skills.

Above all, unload your weapon, store the ammunition away from the gun, safety check it and practice your draw from concealment wearing your everyday concealment clothing. When push comes to shove, whether or not you’re pushing and shoving, your life depends on it.

comments

  1. avatar Ralph says:

    You can press a snubby into a BG and unload all five or six as contact shots. It will never go out of battery.

    1. avatar Art out West says:

      As I see it, that is one of the main advantages of the revolver. It is the weapon to have if someone is on top of you slamming your head on the concrete. You won’t limp wrist it, and it won’t go out of battery from being a contact shot.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        Zimmerman needed only one 9mm round to get the job done. No word as to whether or not the pistol was out of battery at that point.

        1. avatar Joel says:

          If I remember correctly, the gun jammed after the first shot. Some blame the brand (it was a kel-tec) but it’s likely that it jammed for this reason.

          He should have had that Willey clap gp100!

      2. avatar Frank in VA says:

        The contact problem may be the only reason Michael Brown wasn’t fatally shot while reaching inside officer Wilson’s patrol car in Ferguson, instead of later on at a distance. The consensus seems to be that Wilson’s gun ‘jammed’ twice due to Brown’s hand on the gun, which put the slide out of battery. If Wilson had been packing a revolver, that whole thing may never have become a major story, and Ferguson may not have burned.

    2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      That was my thought. But since you took it I’ll add this, dumping 16 rounds into the perp could get you into some legal trouble in some jurisdictions. In the video he fires four shots, breaks away and then shoots 4 more. Certain DAs might get the idea that the perp was no longer a threat but you intentionally decided to kill him anyway. People often do whole magazine dumps without even knowing it when they’re pumped up with adrenaline.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        That’s certainly possible. Then again, if the first “burst” killed the BG, it would be hard for the prosecutor to show that the second burst mattered. Shooting a dead guy isn’t homicide.

        Likewise, if the second burst was deadly and the first not, it would be hard for the prosecutor to prove that the BG was truly out of the fight and the threat was over. A man can stay in the fight for a long time after he’s suffered a wound of any kind.

        The bottom line to me is that a justified self defense shooting stays justified until and unless the threat is over, whether that takes one shot or multiple shots.

        A scvmbag prosecutor can charge you with murder for firing one shot in self defense.

        A fair prosecutor won’t charge you for firing multiple shots in justifiable self defense.

        Better to be judged by twelve than carried by six. Although in my case, I might need to be carried by eight.

        1. avatar Katy says:

          Desecration of a corpse?

        2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          If the perp is still standing you’re probably OK in most jurisdictions. But it’s possible to keep shooting as the guy goes to the ground. A few years ago I read a piece, I think it was Massad Ayoob, where he was an expert witness. The BG started turning as the good guy was shooting and he ended up shooting him in the back which got him locked up and awaiting trial. People (cops) will swear they only fired two or three times when they dumped the whole magazine, it only takes 2 seconds. Even if you’re not convicted of anything, I hear standing trial for murder will pretty much ruin any plans you’ve got for the next couple of years.

          Also, you might want to save a few bullets in case your BG has friends nearby.

        3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          And as Katy said, desecration of the corpse. If you not only killed him but then desecrated his corpse it might be taken as an indicator of your frame of mind at the time of the shooting.

        4. avatar anonymoose says:

          Desecrating a corpse? I didn’t know people still teabagged…

      2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

        If the 1st shot didn’t get you locked up, I doubt the 9th or 12th would either… unless the other shots were later that day after a few beers, a sandwich, and some time to think.

        But, I’m not a lawyer, so I’m talking out my ass.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          As a (retired) lawyer, I can tell you that many of my brothers and sisters at the bar do in fact speak through that orifice, often to great effect.

          “A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.”

          — Robert Frost

        2. That explains the bad breath.

    3. avatar Nynemillameetuh says:

      My S&W Model 15-3 snub doesn’t have a slide that can be knocked out of battery. Even better, it doesn’t have a Clinton lock that will disable the revolver when Officer Murphy enforces his law. Even more extra better, it moonlights as a bludgeon if the ammo runs out.

  2. avatar Kim Jong-Un says:

    But Honor Defense made a gun just for that… with the sticky outtie thingie

    😀

  3. avatar jwm says:

    If it’s a for real life and death and not just a show of force you have to figure on being in contact with the bad guy. It happens all too often. Look at zimmerman and trayvon. zim got 1 shot and his gun jammed.

    A hammerless revolver is close to perfection for those instances. 2 hammerless revolvers just doubles down on perfection.

    1. avatar notalima says:

      If one is good, two is perfection, I think I need 7. I’m old and lose things 😀

    2. avatar Adub says:

      I have a S&W revolver I have shot enough that it no longer works. Wore down the steel. Oops!

      1. avatar jwm says:

        That ain’t an oops. That’s years of shooting fun.

    3. avatar Art out West says:

      That is one of the reasons I carry a revolver. I think the odds of a “hand to hand” or extreme close range gunfight are more likely than an extended or prolonged gunfight, requiring many rounds.

      If I was a police officer, then I’d want both the high capacity autoloader, and a revolver for last ditch backup. As a person with a low risk lifestyle, I think the last ditch backup gun is usually sufficient.

    4. avatar The Monomanic(ing) Gray Man says:

      Good advice from California Zimmerman. Just carry legally.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        So matt, did you square things between you and Farago over your “hitler should have killed more jews” remark that got you banned or are you just doing a sneak around?

        Did you finally get a job that allowed you to move out of the section 8 housing in Chicago to Wisconsin like you wanted?

  4. avatar Juice says:

    IIRC, the Springfield XD (pictured in the preceding article about overrated guns) has a proud guide rod that is supposed to help keep the slide from getting pushed out of battery if you contact your target. At least the old ones do.

    1. avatar PeterW says:

      S&W Shield also claims to have standoff capability

    2. avatar deepdiver says:

      That is correct for the original XD line “service” (4″) and sub compacts models with the captive recoil spring. That is not true of the original XD “tactical” (5″) models which use a standard guide rod/recoil spring design. That is because the front end plate of the captive spring rod creates the offset and the “tactical” model’s muzzle end is flush with just a hole for the guide rod to extend through on recoil. There was a patent filed for that design which specifies that the purpose of the design is specifically to allow contact shots without pushing the slide out of battery. Unfortunately that info is from many years and several computers ago and I don’t have a ready link to provide.

      I have never paid attention to whether this was continued on the XD(M) models.

  5. avatar DaveDetroit says:

    I figure if I ever need my CC gun, it will be in close quarters in bad light. I carry a revolver with a laser grip. I can fire with the muzzle buried into a bad guy, from a coat pocket (say goodbye to the coat afterwards!), or from positions where I can’t bring the gun up to eye level. My #1 priority is escape not overcoming a swarm of BG’s, so idc about capacity. If I was going to war, I’d carry a rifle. Now I just need to find a range where I can practice while retreating to cover….

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      “Now I just need to find a range where I can practice while retreating to cover….”

      Why not just spend a few days in Chicago?

    2. avatar jwm says:

      Duct tape will fix that coat.

  6. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    This is really the only area I feel the snubby leaves everyone in the dust, extremely close quarters or wrestling on the ground shooting.

    Everything has trade-offs, you gain something at the expense of something else.

    I’ve often thought about exchanging my BUG (LCP) for an LCR, but I figure my ankle is the last place I would want to keep my hands while I’m getting punched in the face. So, I train to use my primary in my waist; my BUG is most for my wife, who forgets to bring her gun often, or driving.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I have carried a 5 shot snubby in an ankle holster. Cross country including a day in Chicago. Ankle holsters, imho, suck.

      1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

        Galco ankle glove and ankle lite are the best of a sorry lot.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          The ankle holster did it’s job just fine. I believe it was a galco. But getting your gun out from an ankle holster is just about as slow and clumsy as it gets.

        2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          Really? While seated? Huh…

          Standing, yes. Seated while driving, I’m pretty quick. Quicker than dealing with my shirt and seat belt, at least.

          Side note: Ankle Lite is my go to ankle holster. Best I’ve found

  7. avatar Just Curious says:

    A direct blow back pistol ala NAA Guardian or Seacamp shouldn’t jam simply from muzzle contact in the fashion that a striker fired semi auto would based on my understanding of the mechanics of it. It should return to battery just fine shouldn’t it? Am I wrong?

  8. avatar samuraichatter says:

    Only training can get you to do what the guy did there. To hold the handgun that high and in is not the natural position that the body wants to go to. In that type of situation, most shooters would shoot much lower on the body – like the stomach, waist and even upper thighs.

    1. avatar mk10108 says:

      Agreed. The last thing I want is to be that close to an assailant but it could happen. I was exposed to this during a CCW class and had to overcome the embed training of thrusting the pistol forward. Practice and it becomes natural, key starting out is using your hip as the rotate point, keeping the barrel in front of your body.

  9. avatar Mark says:

    So, I actually simulated this test by holding an empty and cocked Glock 17 firmly pressed against a wall so the slide went out of battery and the trigger still fired. So, does this mean the gun would still work had a live round been chambered?

  10. avatar anonymoose says:

    Prodding someone with revolvers or long guns (especially if they have a standoff device or bayonet) is okay, though.

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