In addition to Nick’s article on Shocking Facts About Gun Fights I’d like to elaborate a bit more about the topic. Especially on the training part, that in theory should prepare one for a real life scenario. Everyone has their right to post own opinions about training methods and pretty much all of them are correct given they provide the necessary skills or should I rather say instinct to surviving a combat situation.

Over the years I have come across different opinions on “the stance”. Should one always aim to acquire a “good” stance in order to enhance accuracy, recoil control etc. And should your training therefore be based around stance? Well most sport instructors I’ve worked with say yes, while most combat veterans say no. Over the years as combative sports became popular many have fallen victim to the systematization. Develop a technique and memorize until it reaches a subconscious level of application. Well tough luck if the conditions for using the technique are not the same as you taught yourself and you loose valuable time adjusting.

Acquiring a comfortable shooting position is definitely beneficial, there is no doubt about it, but can you afford to spend that extra few fractions of a second it takes you to adjust your stance? Do you have time to perform an aiming sequence, bring the gun up, concentrate on that front sight and squeeze?

Well, those questions should first and foremost be given to your physical body, not your cognitive thinking (logic and reasoning, analysis). Try running a 10x10m with someone throwing descent firecrackers next to you then make a 180 degree turn and draw to engage two targets say 5-7m away. See how good you do trying to land those perfectly placed center of mass/head shots and how long does it take you to do it?

When adrenaline takes over you lower your reactions to the most primal part of your brain’s capabilities, analytic thinking is impaired and any attempt to bring it back will only produce a mental “blue-screen” and find yourself absolutely freaked out and eventually paralysed. If you let instinct take over crazy things start to happen without you ever thinking that they would be possible.

Feeling comfortable

The natural reaction in a dangerous situation is fear, and fear can be both a foe and an ally as you work with your body to manage it. Fear will get you into this “combat mode” if you want to call it that way, but it can also cause a total paralysis and over-tension in your muscles.

People with poor fear control will tend to let reactions take over, simply speaking your body will react to external stimulus. If you look a the very first seconds of the actual engagement posted in Nick’s article notice how the assailant makes a dodge with his head while the first round coming back at him misses. And how long does it take for him to recover and follow through with shooting. The interesting fact is that his psyche reacted with a dodge to a stimulus given by a passing bullet after the bullet had actually already passed him. What does this tell us? That a faster shot regardless of accuracy can still trigger a subconscious stimulus that can impair the assailant’s actions long enough to allow a lethal barrage of follow through shots to be used.

“Well how do I achieve a faster first shot?” Look at what you are actually doing in the time leading up to the first shot, and try to eliminate the unnecessary actions. Ask yourself do you really need to aim at a 5.5-6 ft tall 1.5 ft wide target if it’s 7-10 yd away? Do I need to have a perfect stance? Do I need to fire with both hands?

“Well I have to be conscious of the background. I can’t just start popping off rounds randomly from the hip.”  Definitely you can’t, but this is where your training should come in handy. How difficult do you think it is to point a finger at a person standing close to you? And how different would this be to having your gun acting as if it were that finger? It’s just a question of allowing yourself to believe these have a lot in common and suddenly you will feel much more comfortable.

Things to consider

This kind of information can get you on the road to rethinking quite a few things. One of them could surely be what kind of firearm should you carry for protection? Nick stated, and I wholeheartedly subscribe, that you do continue shooting a threat until he is flat on the ground. Well how many rounds are you going to use then? 5, 10, empty the whole magazine? “Well I’m gonna shoot the bad guy with my trusted 1911. Rounds cause much more damage so I don’t need as many.” Well that’s cute and welcome to la-la-land. Sure hope you don’t have two or more threats to handle with those 7-8 rounds. Not given the probability of them being high on some crack and not noticing the pain. In a defence situation you want to have as many rounds at your immediate disposal as you can get.

A higher calibre might or might not be more effective but it will surely make it more difficult for you to handle, note for example the extra recoil affecting your follow through. Don’t forget we’re trying to shoot as fast as we can and as accurate at the same time, but in most cases using just one hand without a good stance.

“Well how would I keep a lower calibre gun with a higher capacity magazine as effective as a higher calibre?” Defensive loads can be a good start. Just the type of bullet you use can provide more effectiveness to your shots.

Take these into consideration and use your training time to see how they work for you. Please let me know what you think. If you would like to know more on this subject also let me know.

Breath, to keep the fear under control and believe your body to work as you wish and you will be one step closer to achieving the Back-flip Hatchet attack proficiency level. A bit of satyre for a good ending.

Stay safe,