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I’m not a police officer. I did a brief stint as a reserve officer but I never had a close-quarters combat situation. So I may not be the best person to say that this technique – grabbing your pistol with your off-hand to avoid a gun grab – is insane. But I reckon it’s nuts. The difference between shooting your hand and not shooting your hand is nowhere NEAR enough to give you a reasonable chance of not shooting your hand. Especially when . . .

adrenalin has turned your fingers into flippers. Then there’s the re-racking challenge. Given that a handgun caliber bullet is particularly ineffective at stopping a threat all by its lonesome, not being able to send the the first round out with its ballistic BFFs in hot pursuit is a bad idea. Or is this the answer to close-quarters combat weapons retention? [NB: This will NOT work with a revolver.]

[h/t DH]

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  1. If the other guy’s so close to be able to grab your gun, you have more important things to worry about.

    How about shoving him away instead of intentionally putting your hand near the muzzle?

    • And I build muscle memory on this exactly how? With how many handguns that I carry depending on my clothing and situation? That is, without blowing a finger off.

      And then there’s the guy beating on me. HEY WAIT! I have to use my blocking hand to grab my own gun.

      I’m an OFWG, and not likely to be a buff operator at any time in the near future. I guess I’ll have to skip this exercise.

      • “With how many handguns that I carry depending on my clothing and situation?”

        Precisely why there are trainers that specifically recommend against doing this sort of thing…why “pick one gun and use EDC That.”

        I wish I could recall the specific interview I heard where a trainer discussed this specific point. I SEEM to recall some data being presented from real DGU’s (or maybe it was force-on-force) that looked into the “one EDC” vs “I’ll swap ’em around” efficacy.

        • If “muscle memory” is a myth then no one would ever be able to defend themselves with a thumb safety firearm.

          I’ve been in to many situations where training kicks in to discount “muscle memory”.

          Note: Muscles do not remember shite. My brain does, but we call it muscle memory because… reasons.

        • Actually there is such a thing as muscle memory. Go look up myelination. Builds faster neuro pathways for specific skills/moves, also explains why it takes a certain amount of repetitions to bold a technique and similar amount to correct it if it was practiced wrong. Farago is dead wrong…

          • How does one improve on tasks such as driving cars through repetition if not for muscle memory. Also someone saying that the earth is flat does not change the state of the earth not being flat.

      • Using a knife in the blocking hand to fend off the attempts to take the gun would be a better tactic

  2. All I could think is “Ouch!!!”

    Seriously, all else aside, I’d think there would be a risk of pushing your own slide out of battery here … which I’m told is a desperation trick you can use to prevent someone else’s pistol from firing. (And one I hope I never have occation to need to try…)

    • That was my first thought, too. Not only could you shoot yourself, you could also interfere with its ability to fire. 2 ways to lose.

    • That was my thinking too, grip the slide wrong (how easy would that be to do in a tussle?) and the thing may not fire for you.

      • I don’t think it’s a bruise. You’re seeing burnt powder on his hand. I’ve done this in a CQB under 21ft class and it’s not scary or dangerous. You transition from what would be a two-hand grip to this by sliding your support hand over the top of the slide with your thumb pushing forward against the back of the slide. If you ask me he’s doing it incorrectly because he’s actually letting the slide move during firing. You put the thumb behind the slide (with a firm grip in the slide) to keep the slide from going out of battery during this sort of maneuver. The risk is not having a tight enough grip which might jam your thumb if the slide has the ability to move.

  3. Some of the commenters got it right: “Hey Gracies, stick to the BJJ. We like that you like guns, but get a clue.”

  4. I believe some perspective is in order here. We all have limited resources — especially time. I would include “mental energy” or motivation as well. That being the case, the question that I have to ask is, “Is this sort of training a good use of my limited resources?”

    For me the answer is no. A close quarters combat scenario is certainly possible where I MUST move quickly into tight spaces with little or no light. In my world it is highly improbable and therefore not the best use of my limited resources.

    Furthermore, I work very hard to be able to apply the Sun Tzu Art of War principles of knowing your enemy and engaging your enemy on your terms. Engaging an unknown enemy in dark, tight quarters (not me terms) is really bad tactics. I would rather invest my efforts into ensuring that I never have to do that in the first place.

    • I think that’s a reasonable way to look at it. It’s not an insane technique. It’s just non-ideal enough and probably limited enough that it’s not worth learning for most people.

  5. Well, the important part starts at 7:20 but deescalates into a sales pitch.

    I will never train in this method of retention BTW.

    If you are a LEO your training time should be in tactics in order not to have a physical confrontation in the first place. If the situation comes to this point you’ve lost your most important tactic and that is the respect of the uniform…..and THAT is the most dificult part of being a LEO. I’m not btw.

    Now, for an anti-terrorist/SWAT unit, OK, this retention method could be part of your training.

    Time and funds are severely limited for the usual LEO. Budget constraints demand presence on the street instead of training. THAT is reality!

  6. Was I the only one kind of hoping he would injure himself? Not blow his hand off, but maybe a little bit of hand meat going with the bullet down range to show how ridiculous this is. All I could think about is all of the “experts” out there, just like the dad and his kids with their tacitacl pellet guns doing summersaults all over the place. Maybe someone can provide a link, I cant seem to find that video.

  7. So…. can’t watch video but does it mention– don’t ever try this with a revolver?

    • This video is a sales pitch for LE. Nothing more. No one uses a revolver any longer in LE.

      • If you are hand to hand with someone armed with a revolver than your hold is to prevent the cylinder from turning. The cylinder must turn freely to complete the firing cycle of a double action revolver.

    • “So…. can’t watch video but does it mention– don’t ever try this with a revolver?”

      He states with a revolver “It will not work.”

      Well, if you try that with a revolver you will have a seriously fvucked-up hand but if you are able to point the muzzle at the bad guy you will be able to put a shot in him.

      So, if it’s your choice. If in desperation shooting him is worth a fvcked-up hand to you, do it.

    • You would still rather have both your hands on your revolver than have him take it from you. Also he shows how to break the grip using your front elbow then you are free to shoot your revolver as normal.

  8. I’d think you’d be better off just point shooting from the hip if you’re in that close.

    • 3 yd or less, Speed Rock works pretty good if practiced a bit so you do it right.

      A lot of folks seem to miss ‘do it right’ in the case of Speed Rock includes using off-hand to deliver a repelling (or blocking) blow. So, it’s not JUST ‘shooting from the hip.’

    • Definitely. And have your weak hand available for strikes. And hit the BG with your first round once (if) he manages to grab your gun. Getting a chest shot from a 9mm – .45 police grade JHP may not cause an instant stop, but it’s an unusually bad way to start a wrestling match.

      Also don’t clear a room by leading blindly going around corners where you weapon can be grabbed. You could just as easily get shot or whacked with a bat.

      This training reminds me of a recent CCW shoot I did. The instructor told me that he didn’t like how I had my left hand in the center of my chest for hip-shooting CQB. I told him my hand was there to be available for strikes or blocking. I wound up not taking his advice.

      • That’s kinda been my second thought–should you really lead with your handgun like that when you cant see what’s coming or what’s around the corner? I expect there are two sides to this…

    • That didn’t work for Darren Wilson. The only thing that saved him was the car door.
      There are plenty of scenarios where two guys are fighting over one gun. Yes this is a niche training tactic but anything a man named Gracie has to say should be regarded as valuable.

  9. I’ve done something similar in a defensive handgun course but it was from a close up draw fire from retention, but we did it with our thumb on the slide. This was a desperation shot to gain distance where the other persons body was right on top of you with the ability to put your gun out of battery. Once you fired you gain distance and fix your type 1 and get on sights.

  10. My comment was the same as many above, interfering with the cycling of the pistol is just stupid. This is not a ‘technique,’ it’s just dumbass.

    Aside from that, I will have to say that I have removed the truth about guns from my favorite list already and just visited back today to see if the website issues are the same. This website just doesn’t load correctly, repeatedly crashes, and is just generally the worst of ALL the websites I visit and I visit hundreds. And, NO, I am not going to download anti-advertising software just for THIS site no matter how much I like the site.

    If management thinking is that all the active adware is the only thing that keeps the site going, then maybe they have overlooked all the visitors who stop visiting due to an unworkable site. In my opinion your site would be better served by accommodating your visitors instead of generating return on the dollar.

    I’ll check back maybe a couple more times over the next year because I truly like this site, but it is possible for you to make me give up.


    • I guess abandoning sites you like is easier than clicking a button on to make every site you ever visit better.

      Are you afraid of add-ons? Think of ABP as EDC for your browser.

      • I second this, with ABP TTAG (and most others) work fine. Very rarely I will have to create a custom filter to allow something legitimate to load. I also use ghostery in tandem.

    • Since I started using Chrome instead of Explorer, I don’t have near as many issues on lots of websites that used to give me fits.

      • PaleMoon is a lightened version of Firefox before they crapped it up with google search and more.

        It runs with Ad Block latitude and ghostery just fine. No ads, no popups.
        Set your flash to open only with permission and your browser will run about twice as fast as explorer, with no google tracking as in chrome.


    • It’s not “dumbass” just a very specific technique. Your firearm is a tool and you better damn well know how to use it in every conceivable way before you’re presented with the situation. If you hadn’t see it done would you know that you could fire your semi-auto in this particular way? Just because it’s not your cup of tea doesn’t mean that someone else might not need this very specific skill at some point in time.

  11. have you ever seen the type of burns a muzzle flash can give you? They suck.

    Not to mention you’re screwing with cycling. Just…ugh

    • When I had to do this in the academy, nobody got any burns at all, or any other kind of injury.

  12. I had to watch the video with the volume off thanks to a sleeping baby, so I can’t tell how ridiculous or not the spiel is. I can say, though, that I had to do this technique in the academy. It seemed completely insane when they told us about it. Think of it like shooting a pistol while holding a flashlight- no technique is perfect, and they all make some serious compromises. Some flashlight techniques even put you at risk of shooting your hand if you don’t do them right. Not as bad as this one, but I’m sure it’s happened before.

    If you find yourself this close, denying your attacker the leverage of grabbing your barrel may be worth the risk. Grabbing the slide like this can actually make it less likely to go out of battery when compared to jamming the muzzle into someone’s stomach. And if you think about it, this really is marketed towards police, where if someone takes your gun, they probably mean to kill you with it as quickly as they can. At that point, the risk of shooting myself in the hand and keeping the gun from cycling a fresh round in may actually be the least of your worries.

    All that being said, I haven’t practiced this nearly enough to want to use it for real, and the insanity level is still pretty high.

    • “And if you think about it, this really is marketed towards police, where if someone takes your gun, they probably mean to kill you with it as quickly as they can.”

      How exactly does that apply to police more than anyone else in the world?
      There are VERY few, if any situation where anyone trying to take a gun from you in a struggle would want to do anything with it other than kill you. I don’t see why this is “marketed towards police”.

      The absolute only situation I can think of would be if say, police were trying to take a gun from the hands of a criminal…. but does that ever happen? Police don’t grapple for guns. They shoot. To be clear, I’m not blaming them, I wouldn’t wrestle for control of a gun either (unless I had no choice), I’d just shoot the attacker.

      Anyhow, didn’t mean to get off on a rant… I just really don’t see how this applies to any one person more than another in the offensive/defensive use of a handgun.

  13. I think you had it right in your first sentence and should have just stopped there.

    This is not the first time I have seen the Gracies discuss hand to hand combat mixed with firearms and as always they are very clear to point out when a situation is warranted and what the risks are. I would be inclined to agree with Rener hat shooting myself in the hand would be preferable to losing my weapon in a close quarters fight. I will also note he practiced better 4 rules than a majority of firearms specific channels on YouTube in his demonstration.

    I have trained in Gracie Jiu Jitsu before and would categorically say that if your training doesn’t involve a healthy dose of Jiu Jitsu or some other form of mixed martial arts ground game/ hand to hand fighting, you are setting yourself up for failure. A gun should only be one of several tools you carry for self defense.

    You are barking up the wrong tree on this one IMO

    • Agree. This technique is the only one that would prevent a well trained combatant (like Rener) from executing the proper, krav maga style disarming techniques. The trend of police training in martial arts began when the common criminals they encounter on the streets began learning the now popular “cage fighting” techniques, and injuring/killing officers with them. It makes sense to learn every escape, because the BGs are learning every attack.

  14. Ive always wondered what the best way to hit someone with a gun was. I was taught strike them with barrel and pull the trigger but ive never had to actually experience it. Id think the possibility of bad guy getting caught in the action or blocking the barrel to be quite high. Hit him with the Butt? And bits of bad guy jams the mag well. Does bits of bad guy mess up the rotation of a cylinder?

    Strange thoughts but contact close is something hopefully we can only practice in our imagination.

    Whats your best way of hitting a bad guy?

    • I recall reading an article in a gun rag by Sheriff Jim Wilson (he really was a county sheriff, BTW, used to drive thru his county occasionally). He talked about “swatting” a BG in the head with his 1911, I think he more or less hit him with the side of it while holding the grip in the usual fashion. Of course, he also said that the grip panel split open, but averred that the gun functioned just fine (as a shooter, not a club) immediately thereafter.

  15. This might seem like a good idea if I could get my head up my ass. But, I can’t get my head up my ass. So, it doesn’t seem like a good idea.

  16. I thought we all agreed we were going to use that nifty little, rail-mounted, pistol bayonet to ward off attackers grabbing one’s sidearm? Did I miss a follow-up vote?

  17. It was educational. I’m not going to try it.

    I agree with it though. There are some times where the risk of losing your life exceeds the risk of injury due to improper safety. If I thought for a second that I would truly lose my life if I didn’t fire right away I would have no qualms even shooting through my hand.

  18. This seems like a terrible idea, I cannot say what the right thing to do is but i’m sure that is not it. How about carrying a gun that is to short for bad guy to get a hold of without losing fingers.

  19. I didn’t watch the vid, but instead of grabbing the slide why not simply put your forearm above the gun and use your elbow as a standoff? Same effect but allows the gun to cycle and your piggies stay safe.

  20. i dont really understand whats going on. there was an internet myth a while back that said if a bad guy grabs the gun as this guy is, that the gun firing is so violent it will throw him off it. it took about 10 secs to disprove. is that what they are playing to here? if not, this is retarded.

  21. I have great respect for BJJ, but there is a problem with any martial art and that problem follows the saying, “If you are hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” So BJJ tends to want everything to start with grappling, which is not always the best solution. Look at the footage from 0:55 to 1:05. The defender swings out his flat hand to push against the attacker’s upper chest just below his neck. If that move had been a solid, Karate’-style knife hand strike to the throat, the BG would have gone down immediately before any wrestling for the pistol, even if he were on drugs. That is an instantly debilitating strike. Alternatively, that same push could have been a finger push to the hollow of the throat, which is very effective and easy to find by feel, although that is not as debilitating.

    Another possibility he passes up is that if he is at high ready, he would only have to twist his torso to the right slightly and strike his shoulder into the BG’s shoulder. This would put the gun at an angle the BG could not reach it, put the BG off balance and maintain his high ready position. This kind of move is used in varying degrees in rugby, football, soccer and basketball. In Combat Tai Chi this is called Shoulder Stroke. It is one of my go-to, ingrained moves and even though I‘m an old guy, I can send someone flying with it.

    Then there is the move he does at 1:25, where he breaks the guys grip with his knee, clearly muzzling his leg. Crazy, IMHO.

    Also, the technique shown in the video will not only not work for a revolver, but I would caution it would not work with a small auto either and it is even dangerous for a G17. A quick grab like that is not going to be as accurate as he makes it out to be. I think the chance of a pinky finger winding up in front of the muzzle is very high.

    I’m also not impressed by his assertion that this technique comes from “talking to thousands of officers.” This guy isn’t old enough to have talked to thousands of people! Plus, the vast majority of officers are not H2H experts. It’s a dumb claim.

  22. I have trained several times with my uncle (30 yrs retired Army Special Forces Green Beret and current CIA Contractor) and I was taught this CQC tactic by him. We fired several rounds while holding the barrel/slide of our own pistols and it safely works, albeit for a single shot.

    It is not an ideal tactic, but if your pistol is grabbed during a tussel and you end up in that situation, you can get off a shot and hopefully put some distance between yourself and the attacker, rack the slide, and then fire until the threat is neutralized.

  23. Now not while in a defensive deal. I have had an AD unloading a malfunctioning Star FireStar.
    Without getting into the details.
    Muzzle blast can and does do a nice bit of damage to ones hand.
    I had a nice chunk of the side of my left hand palm taken out by muzzle blast.
    Its not something Id ever want to repeat. Even if in a life threatening position.
    I don’t think Id even be able to voluntarily repeat grabbing a muzzle ever again.

  24. Try this with a CCW 3″ barrel and lose half your fingers.
    Also, how would you ‘preemptively’ know to grab your gun with your offhand? Round every tight corner with your hand already in place? crazy.
    Also, using your off-hand to push on the attacker while shooting from retention looks like another way to blow off your own hand.

  25. Not sure why that wouldn’t work with a revolver, however…

    Were some yoot to grab an automatic that was also held by me, I expect that I’d try to wrench it into a semi – safe direction ane let one off.

    The slide doing its stuff would be unpleasant for the offending paw.

  26. Notice the not so subtle cut at 4:55 where “you’re racking de wepon”?
    Looks like it was a fairly serious jam that they had to fix, and then restart the shoot.

    This guys looks like he all talk and no walk.

  27. Uh, am not gonna try this, thanks. Looks like a good way to shoot yourself in the hand, or elbow.
    Speaking as the average civilian training to carry responsibly, my take is If the BG got that close, then you failed on a bunch of other actions that are easier and more productive to practice.

    Just my $.02.

    • No more likely than to shoot yourself while fending off an attacker with your off hand. And if the opponent has a grip on your weapon, who’s getting shot then?

  28. No more coffee for this guy. A better course of action is don’t get into a situation like he described in the first place.

  29. If someone is interested in dealing with weapon retention from a bladed stance as in this video, IMO, the Center Axis Relock approach to this sort of close quarters weapon retention makes more sense, has the same or better retention and defensive capabilities, while enabling rapid and repeated follow-up shots without inducing an intentional stoppage. You are also less likely to shoot yourself. Finally it scales to a wider range of situations better than does this method, making the training more applicable and less specific to a very narrow window of application.

  30. Instructor Zero made a video of this and I believe it’s okay if you have no other options.

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