Practics

Most defensive encounters end quickly. There are, however, many occasions in which the defender will be required to stay poised and alert for several minutes. Police felony car stops can take the better part of half an hour to safely empty the car and take the occupants into custody. During that time, cover officers will  hold aim on vehicles or suspects. That’s harder than it sounds. Marksmanship, the method by which open space accuracy is achieved, requires minute adjustments to be constantly made in order to direct the sights within hundredths of an inch. Professional counter snipers take breaks every few minutes to relieve their eyes. Admittedly, using a scope with the increase in light fatigues the eye more quickly but the principle remains true in any circumstance. When considering that nighttime encounters often include sharp light contrasts, the sniper example is even more relevant. So eyes get tired but so does everything else. Try squatting or crouching for five minutes. If you catch an intruder and hold him until police arrive, you may be there a whole lot longer than five minutes. The point is mental , optical, and physical focus are demanding and their effectiveness begins an almost instant deterioration the moment the clock starts.  So what’s the takeaway? Relax. Use natural, non-exaggerated stances. Don’t tighten muscles and use a light grip. If working with a partner, coordinate thirty second breaks every three minutes. My fundamentals book, The Perfect Pistol Shot, can help you develop a natural shooting style, you can also find much of that information on the marksmanship blog at www.perfectpistolshot.com Tactical information will be available in my new book Practics Holistic Handgun which will be available this summer.

Thanks to all who have signed up at www.practicsusa.com for advanced information on the new book. You’ll be receiving an email as soon as the date is firm. I apologize for the delay but we wound up adding two sections to the book rather unexpectedly and late in the process. The text is complete and I expect the whole thing to be ready for summer reading. The truth is, I know it will be out sooner rather than later but it is a process with a life of its own, apparently.  I really appreciate your patience.

 

  1. Don’t stand with your feet too far apart. The test is to be able to run in any direction without having to draw a foot inward. You should be able to move from your shooting stance without having to dramatically transfer your bodyweight. Remember that you may not know which direction of movement will be necessary when you enter your stance. The more naturally you stand the more naturally you can react.
  2. Continue reading

Barring a few topical additions and minor adjustments, the manuscript for Practics Holistic Handgun is through comprehensive editing. Formatting is still ahead and that will go quickly. A sample of the book will be placed on this web site, today. The sample is from the introduction. Continue reading

I like pistols and pistols are here to stay. Having said that, there are millions of revolvers out there and many home defenders wonder whether a revolver is worth keeping. For my two cents, it’s tough to beat to revolver for the following reasons:

  1. Fixed barrels lend themselves to better accuracy. Some pistols have fixed barrels but all revolvers do, and they’re truly affixed to the frames providing better and more consistent accuracy. There are extremely accurate pistols but taken as a class of weapons, revolvers are accurate.   Continue reading

Many shooters have difficulty when attempting to combine speed with accuracy. That makes sense; we understand that deliberation makes for more accurate shooting but in terms of a practical defense firing standard many shooters are unable to keep shots within the target zone. The good news and the bad news are the same: firing fast is properly done in exactly the same way as slow fire which means you need fundamental marksmanship skills which requires work but you don’t need any special Rambo-esque training.

Here’s a few rapid fire suggestions: Continue reading

1. Magazines are always placed downward into the pouch with the rounds pointed away from the support side. This allows the shooter to  grab the magazine, twist the wrist, and have the magazine and magazine well pointed in the same direction.

2. Magazine pouches are placed on the support side and speed-loader pouches are always placed on the strong side (same side as the holster). These positions allow for use when prone without excessive body movement and at all other times allow the loading hand to drop directly onto the pouch. Continue reading

Being technically and legally competent to use a firearm for home defense is good. Having immediate access to your weapon at any hour is also good. Having a small piece of wire pushed through the bottom of your foot, causing you to yelp and limp is bad.  Continue reading

New York Police Department and the FBI have done a good job of keeping statistical records concerning police shootings. In fact, compared to NYPD, the FBI is a little light on data. New York has been tracking shootings for more than a century.  The point is we know that for good or for ill, four rounds pretty much wraps it up.
Bear in mind that most shootings occur within 6′ or less, so it makes sense  that  the ammunition expenditure would not be all that great. Continue reading

A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine told me his kid wanted to be a cop and was asking for some advice. Here’s my general advice for those who want to be a peace officer in 2015.

1. Learn to shoot like Roy Rogers and Tom Mix. It is incumbent upon the officer to overcome all physiological and psychological influences and simply shoot weapons out of the bad guys’ hands.  If you can master that skill out to 100 yards, you should be fine.  Remember this isn’t the wild west, so officers need to be able to shoot like old cowboy-movie stars.
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Obviously, I would rather everyone read my books and attended my training. On the other hand, that’s really not practical, and frankly, it wouldn’t be the best advice for all shooters. Aside from my self-serving interests, finding a good instructor is not a given.  Too many local instructors, the kind that pin index cards to the local range bulletin board, shouldn’t be teaching. An NRA instructor certificate does not of itself qualify an individual to train others.  Big name schools fall into another problem–the glorification of self. Shooting a gun is not a religion and some guy’s beloved technique is only orthodoxy when broad success has made it so.  Fortunately, there are some great local instructors and some wonderful big name schools.  It is the perspective student’s job to research and discriminate. Continue reading

The Author
Al
Albert League is a former Marine and law enforcement firearm instructor who consults on a variety of security topics.