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I was videoing myself for an upcoming review on Glock .22 conversion slides when I caught a couple of personal firsts on camera. I was at a relatively remote range practicing drawing, moving and rapid fire (these drills aren’t allowed at the more marksmanship oriented ranges closer to home). I apologize for muzzling the camera in advance. In this video I am practicing drawing while moving, shooting (or not shooting). For the first time ever with a hot pistol, I messed up the draw and completely lost control of the thing. Skip to the :30 second mark to see the action above . . .

While I am not pleased or proud at all about blowing this draw, I am pretty pleased with my response once I lose control of the pistol. Hands away, back off and let it fall. Guns are very safe to drop to the ground; any modern weapon should not fire in such a situation. You should absolutely, positively not try to catch a falling pistol since you could activate the trigger and who knows what direction it is pointed.

My reaction was unconscious, but it was not un-trained. I certainly did not think about my actions at the time the pistol was falling, but I have actually practiced for this situation before with a dry pistol in a carpeted room. I have purposely pretended to mess up the draw, and practiced restraining myself from grabbing the falling pistol.

It was not my first response to let it fall initially while practicing. Who knows if that practice didn’t save me some pain today? The other “first” for today was a case rupture at the base of a Remington “Golden Bullet.” It occurs here:

When the case ruptured, the explosion was louder than expected and I felt some debris hit my face. I was thankful it was .22 LR, and not 9mm. I was also thankful for my glasses. I actually ordered some fuller coverage prescription shooting glasses earlier this week and am looking forward to their arrival. Wear those eyes and ears folks.

.22 LR Case Rupture

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  1. Yes, just allow a falling gun to fall. Learned that from Plaxico Burris.

    But would you be as inclined to let the gun fall to the ground if you were drawing the gun with a purpose – I mean, with an assailing puke a few feet away? Just thinking about it makes you want to attain absolute proficiency in the draw.

  2. Excellent thing to practice, good job there. I would suggest adding a one-handed drawstroke to your pracitice routine. Your support hand may not always be available, it could be injured, dealing with 3rd parties, blocking, striking, etc.

    I also suggest practice draws using only your support hand for the same reason.

    • Agreed. I do both of these, and I always do the support hand draw on a live pistol very, deliberately.

  3. Your article references a blow out of a Federal Cartridge, the blown cartridge appears to be Remington. This may need to be amended as you are describing a product failure that could have resulted in injury.

  4. I’ve had 22 case rupture with my 22/45 and 10/22’s before. Scary stuff, I’m glad to see you were not injured.
    As to allowing a falling weapon to fall: in a training environment I agree 100%. Grabbing for a falling pistol is an easy way to activate a trigger and instead of scratching a finish on the slide you end up losing some much needed blood and tissues. BUT in a dynamic environment like combat or a DGU there are other concerns: BG getting pistol and using on you, BG using their own weapon on you, not being able to secure your weapon, etc. I am not suggesting that one should reach for the falling pistol; I am suggesting that this topic be discussed at greater length as there are more variables in play.

  5. Really excellent article. I’m becoming a bigger and bigger fan of filming my training sessions for this exact reason.

    • I am open to suggestions? It runs better than the Federal Bulk and much, much better than Winchester bulk. It runs almost as good as CCI mini-mags. Please suggest some ammo though as I don’t know much about .22LR

      • CCI works better, but is slightly more expensive. I’ve told this story before, but my Sig Mosquito came with a recommendation to use CCI ammo. I ignored it when the gun was new out of the box, used Remington, and had about one FTE per mag. With time and break-in, it’s down to one FTE per 4-5 mags, so if that’s acceptable to you, that’s fine. Conversely, I’ve never had any failures with CCI that were not my fault.

        Also, FWIW, I’ve never had a problem with Remington in my 10/22, only in my Mosquito.

  6. I have vision in my left eye because I was wearing my ballistic glasses as sunglasses after my most recent deployment. A kid ran the redlight at a high rate of speed (actually, an insane speed). Burns to my arm and head. But the eye was protected from the flash wave by my Oakley Flak Jackets.

    Now, I am a lifelong fan.

    • Half Jackets on their way, both clear and tinted lenses. Dang they were expensive as rx lenses, but compared to an eye? No comparison. If I have the money for guns and ammo, not getting solid eye protection is just stupid.

  7. Good advice to practice such “non-intuitive” reactions before they happen.

    One surprise to me was the lack of checking the handgun after it was dropped. This was dirt and rocks instead of a clean carpet, and I don’t think I would have just re-holstered my handgun after such a drop.

  8. Eric,

    Well done! You just showed us all why we train. just like an NFL player who runs before catching the ball, getting the right grip on the draw is crucial. Thank you for sharing, recognizing the error as a learning moment, and the desire to improve upon the lesson learned.
    Great training tip, well done!

  9. I’m not a big fan of practicing with live ammo a draw from appendix carry. If you pull a Tex Grebner, the likely hit zone is Mr. Winky or your femoral artery. Hits in both spots means no more Mr. Winky visiting Ms. Priscilla.

    I noticed you fubbed your pickup after dropping the gun. Go slower when picking it up and make sure you are up range from the muzzle.

    • Good points. I didn’t notice messing up the pick up and dropping the pistol again until I reviewed the video.

      I practiced several thousand dry draws prior to going live appendix carry. I didn’t once hit a trigger. If I had I wouldn’t be carrying this way. Since this is how I carry, I don’t see the point of never practicing live though. Whenever I add something new I always do some dry runs.

  10. Why would anyone practice “messing up the draw”? Sounds like a good way to learn bad habits.

    • I just wanted to get my brain used to watching a pistol fall without touching it. It’s not an egg, a baby, or a piece of china, and I needed to get over wanting to “protect” it from a fall.

      It only took a few repetitions….until my wife said: “What is all that racket?”

  11. I like the way you’re shooting and moving. Much better than the dance-dance revolution genius who drew so much flak a little while ago.

  12. Eric, please take a class on how to properly draw and reholster a pistol. There are some very discreet and enumerated movements to doing both. Among other things, you covered your pelvic area every time you reholstered. Scary. Why “Mexican carry”? It should be your last option in concealed carry and actually not recommended at all. Holstering and reholstering is not something that should be taken upon casually but first learned correctly and practiced often if you will be carrying concealed. Take care. Shoot safe.

  13. Thanks for the article and sharing the video. I wish my handgun practice has progressed as far.

    I have a couple of thoughts. From the picture, that case rupture looks to be a feed failure, in that the round did not fully chamber and ignited with the rear unsupported by the chamber. If that is the case, it may not be an ammo issue, but a magazine or other gun related issue.

    The tap-rack drill may not be appropriate in all cases of malfunction. In some cases it can make things worse, by turning a feed failure into a double feed. I like what Magpul teaches, with assessment being the first step, and tap rack just one of a couple of responses.

    Now I just need to practice.

    Mike ( not the numbered one)

    • Agreed on the feed failure. I am not sure why, but suspect gunk build up.

      This particular slide had hundreds of rounds since its last cleaning. .22 is just dirtier and not as tolerant of dirty chambers as a larger bore ammo I guess.

      All clean now and I am looking forward to trying it again clean.

  14. I dropped a loaded 1911 once. I was being a dummy at the range and was wearing gloves cause it was super cold and drawing quickly from under a coat like an idiot. I did the same thing, pulled my hands up and hoped the thing didn’t go off. no problems.

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