Advice on training?


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Javin
March 1, 2012, 02:02 AM
So I'd started to respond to a thread about tap-rac-bang versus waiting out a hangfire, then realized the thread was over 5 years old. So let me start up my own thread, first pasting my response to THAT thread:

---------------- Hangfire Thread -------------------------
Heya, folks. New to the forums, so let me introduce myself by pitching in my two cents. I see a lot of debate about whether to go with tap-rack-bang or wait out the time on a hangfire. Those that state that you should TRB argue that if you don't practice it regularly, you won't handle it well when under fire. Those that argue that you should wait point out that you could be injured, or more likely, damage the weapon. Both are good points. Personally, I'm a "wait" guy, though 15-20 seconds is generally what I teach while practicing aim, and in an active fire situation I reduce that to 2 seconds. I have those I teach practice by occasionally slipping a dummy round into their magazine. I'll also purposely slip in some crappy sub-sonic stuff in the hopes of the occasional stovepipe in training. (Full disclosure: I'm prior military, and those I teach are generally friends and family. I'm not officially certified by any particular group).

The odds of being in a live-fire situation are pretty slim. (In the less than 1% range) but we go through a LOT of rounds at the range. We also see our share of hangfires (though so far, only with the rimfires). I would prefer that in the practice situations, they not injure themselves, or damage my own, or their weaponry. In most cases, a hangfire will pop within that initial 2 seconds (have yet to have one that doesn't, though I've heard it's possible).

In other words, using TRB, it seems that you would significantly increase the odds of taking your entire WEAPON out of the battle if the hangfire pops halfway through the TRB process (which can take just about the right amount of time for the hangfire to pop). Personally, I would prefer to take a couple seconds out of the fight (since my first goal is to find cover in the first place - Rambo never would have made it in real battle) rather than risk being left without a weapon at all. When target practicing, I extend that wait further just to be safe since we have all the time in the world.
----------------------- End Response ----------------------

So now my follow-on question. I've recently become engaged and my fiance got to shoot the first gun in her life (at the age of 27) just a few months ago. Already, she's applying for her CCW and picking out her own 9mm. (Something in pink, I imagine.)

Here in Virginia, I've attended a couple of training classes only to be disappointed with either the lack of information in them, or the outright bad information that's given. (For instance, one instructor taught that revolvers and automatics were essentially interchangeable weapons, then proceeded to show a "proper" hand position with the automatics without mentioning that this same grip would do some serious damage to your thumb if you used it with a revolver.) I found myself often having to take notes to "re-teach" her after the classes.

This said, do any of you folks have any nuggets of knowledge, and lessons learned over your years of experience that you'd care to share in this thread that a newbie could learn from? No doubt, I'll forget something vital during our times at the range, and I know there's even stuff I could learn. Any suggestions from what her first choice for a firearm should be and why, to how to identify and deal with a squib I'm interested in. After two days of searching, there's surprisingly little in the way of a collection of this kind of information consolidated into one place on the 'net.

Thanks all!

-Javin

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NOLAEMT
March 1, 2012, 02:42 AM
When you are practicing, it is smart to wait if you pull the trigger and nothing happens, in the off chance it is a hang-fire (extremely rare in centerfire ammo, I've shot thousands of .45acp rounds, perhaps 10's of thousands, and I've never had a round fail to go "Boom."

But you do need to train for type 1 malfunctions, with the tap-rack, and train to do it immediately. In the middle of a gunfight, the chance of hurting yourself or your gun with an out of battery hang-fire is much less than the danger of the person trying to kill you.

Javin
March 1, 2012, 02:54 AM
I appreciate the info, NOLAEMT, but I'll stand by my assertion that in a real gun fight, you shouldn't be standing outside of cover blasting away in the first place. That two second pause before just chambering the next round could be the difference between having a weapon to fight back with, and having no weapon at all. Basically, the pattern I teach is this:
1.) Triple-tap (ie: two to the chest, one to the head)
2.) Cover down
3.) Improvise (various house-clearing methods)

If at any point in step 1 they run into trouble with a misfire, move on to step two. We practice the triple tap until it becomes muscle memory, and we practice moving for cover while laying down cover fire. I've seen enough first hand to know after those first three shots are off (under a second), your odds increase exponentially the less of a target you make of yourself. Once under cover, rapidly ejecting a misfire is an unnecessary risk of losing your weapon.

While we may not agree on this, it's not worth debating. My own experience will not allow my opinion to be swayed on this particular point.

9mmepiphany
March 1, 2012, 04:27 AM
Three questions:

1. What is your definition of 2.) Cover down?
It seems you use the term to mean moving to cover...while the more commonly accepted, in training circles, use is to cover the suspect to insure the effectiveness of your shots. Perhaps this is a regional use...hard to tell as your location isn't listed...much as your use of the term triple-tap

2. In a self-defense situation, when you pull the trigger and don't get a bang, how do you tell the difference between a misfire or one of the other reasons for a Type 1 stoppage?

3. If you opinion can't be swayed, why ask for others' experience/lessons/knowledge on the matter?

Old Guy
March 1, 2012, 05:38 AM
Been shooting Pistols since 1953, had my own training Company for 23 years, 500 students a year, approx.

Never had or seen a "Hang fire" With Center Fire, EVER! Carry a Glock 19, use one in IDPA competition.

Funny, I never have misfires, think I have forgotten how to TRB! But, if you get a CLICK, TRB. That is the way to go. Safety Glasses always, good ear muffs as well.

guzzi
March 1, 2012, 05:48 AM
Thousands of folks play IDPA games each year, and IDPA has lots of rules. If you attend IDPA games you will see TRB being done. If TRB was the cause of the problem you mentioned, there would be a rule not to do it.

allaroundhunter
March 1, 2012, 12:22 PM
IDPA is a good way to implement what you have trained on, but not necessarily training in itself.

In training, a big thing to practice is shooting on the move, shooting from awkward positions, random things that can throw you off of your game. These will test your marksmanship, they will test how well you manipulate your weapon, and sometimes they will test your coordination, but if you ever have to use your weapon in self-defense, there is a good chance you will not be standing still and shooting from a perfect isosceles or Weaver stance.


If I ever have a round fail to fire, I TRB, no questions asked. Now, if it sounds like it might have been a squib load, inspect your weapon to make sure you don't send another round down the pipe when there is already a round lodged in the barrel. Squib loads are far more common than hangfires, but are still very rare. I have never had or even seen a hangfire, so it is not really even a consideration to wait a few seconds in the middle of a fight to wait for a round to go off.

RedTag
March 1, 2012, 01:36 PM
I also would like to know what you mean by "cover down" and how exactly you are going to be able to get to cover every single time you have to use your weapon in a real situation.

I also would like to know who you are teaching because it sounds to me like you need to take a few more classes yourself.

TRB takes a second... literally 1 second to execute.

You saying that you would rather take a few seconds out of the fight to wait for your hang fire is a little naive. How long do you expect the fight to be? its not a western film where the gun fight will last for a few minutes, the likely hood of a fight lasting more than a few seconds is not even big enough to put a percentage on.

kwelz
March 1, 2012, 02:14 PM
You fight the way you train. If you train to wait then you are gong to wait in alive and death situation. Just look at competition shooters. No matter what kind of shooting they are doing they clear thier guns after they shoot out of habit.

Javin
March 1, 2012, 02:43 PM
1. What is your definition of 2.) Cover down?
It seems you use the term to mean moving to cover...while the more commonly accepted, in training circles, use is to cover the suspect to insure the effectiveness of your shots. Perhaps this is a regional use...hard to tell as your location isn't listed...much as your use of the term triple-tap

Here, I'm talking a bit of both. Lay down cover fire while getting to cover. That's what I meant by, "We practice the triple tap until it becomes muscle memory, and we practice moving for cover while laying down cover fire."

2. In a self-defense situation, when you pull the trigger and don't get a bang, how do you tell the difference between a misfire or one of the other reasons for a Type 1 stoppage?

This is kind of my point. You don't know whether you have a hangfire, or a misfire. For squibs I basically go with the whole "pop and no kick" description we got in the Army, and then show them a youtube or two.

3. If you opinion can't be swayed, why ask for others' experience/lessons/knowledge on the matter?

I hadn't asked for experience/lessons/knowledge on the matter of hangfires, but rather was sharing how I handle them and train for them. I actually found this forum because someone was asking this exact question (in a 5 year old thread). What I DID ask was:

Any suggestions from what her first choice for a firearm should be and why, to how to identify and deal with a squib I'm interested in

Note that I'm still a little uneasy on how to "teach" about a squib load. Having personally seen a squib in an M16 put a good deal of shrapnel into a girl's face in BASIC training, it's something that still concerns me to this day, though I've never personally had one happen.

I've also never had a hangfire actually damage a weapon, but pretending that it *can't* isn't exactly the smart way to go. Not only can the weapon be damaged if you're racking when it goes off, but so too can your hand, or anything else that catches the casing/shrapnel that comes off the bullet.

I'm always open for suggestions on other tidbits and lessons learned from other experienced firearm handlers, but *for myself* I believe TRB to be an unnecessary risk. I've got a few thousand rounds of cheap and ancient ammo and get a hangfire about once in every 100 rounds. Typically this hangfire is between half a second to one full second. In other words, if I immediately went for the TRB, it would be just about the time my hand is racking the slide.

If you attend IDPA games you will see TRB being done. If TRB was the cause of the problem you mentioned, there would be a rule not to do it.

At IDPA games, they're not particularly likely to be using ancient, cheap, and surplus ammo. Being the cheap SOB I am, I do. In the IDPA, a misfire is almost NEVER going to be a hangfire due to the quality of Ammo they're using. My limited understanding of the IDPA is also that they don't have a significant amount of rimfire events going on, further reducing the odds of an actual hangfire ever happening at the IDPA. I've never seen a center fire round hang fire (even the garbage rounds), though I've heard rumor that it's happened. TRB is specifically to clear a misfire - ie: a dud. It is not intended in any way to "speed up" the detonation of a hangfire. That TRB is used in the IDPA is not remotely surprising.

I actually find it quite interesting to see the diversity of opinions on different forums. For instance, on another forum I lurk on, the opinion is almost universally to treat every misfire as a hangfire, and they suggest a full 30 second wait at every misfire. Here, obviously, the opinion sways almost universally in the opposite direction.

My initial inquiry still stands. I'm open for lessons learned from other folks that can be passed on to the newbies. As an example, already from this forum I've taken notes about how one should ASSUME that every previously used weapon has been modified, and treat it with kid gloves until you've put enough rounds through it to be confident that it has not. (There was a very interesting post here about one man's traumatic experience when his gun went full-auto whether he wanted it to or not.) This is the kind of stuff I'm trying to dig up. Even the little things that a newbie wouldn't know (ie: weight of the gun vs. size of the bullet = recoil). May seem very elementary to us, but I realized I'd missed telling the fiance that tidbit when she started to pick out the world's tiniest pink 9mm as her first gun.

Just looking for knowledge here, not a fight!

allaroundhunter
March 1, 2012, 02:56 PM
For instance, on another forum I lurk on, the opinion is almost universally to treat every misfire as a hangfire, and they suggest a full 30 second wait at every misfire. Here, obviously, the opinion sways almost universally in the opposite direction.

I'm not sure how many hangfires members of other forums have, or even how many members of this forum have, but I know that I have had over 100 failures to fire (rimfires included) and none of them have been a hangfire. I prepare based on the odds, and the odds are that if my defensive handgun doesn't go bang, it is not because of a hangfire. That means in the case that I have a FTF- Tap, rack, and reevaluate the threat.

Telekinesis
March 1, 2012, 03:53 PM
Javin: I think you should consider that military firefights and civilian self defense firefights are very different animals. I know (or at least I've gathered form some of your posts) that you have military experience, so I'm sure that's where some of this comes from, but don't expect a guy trying to mug you to need the same tactics as you would use in Afghanistan.

Cover fire is very useful in the military, but it has very limited use in SD and carries a lot of liability with it. First off, you can't count on having any help unless you always travel with a fireteam to go to the grocery store, so bounding as a team shouldn't be counted on. Also, you are responsible for every single round you fire. If you're firing just to keep his head down instead of actually trying to hit him, that increases your chance of missing and hitting someone else.

Something else to think about is time. There are very few examples of prolonged civilian firefights, your time from draw to last shot will be counted in seconds, not minutes. You won't be able to dive behind cover to casually diagnose and clear a misfire, you need to keep fighting at all costs. And if you're taking cover, who is fighting the bad guy? Take a look at the Tueller drill, most people are doing good to move, draw, and fire in that amount of time, don't count on being able to sit in one spot and investigate a malfunction.

I would recommend that you take some shooting/gun fighting classes that are more civilian based which focus on defensive use to augment your more military/offensive/team work type of training. Watching the instructors and seeing how they teach will also give you ideas on how to help teach your friends (though it would be better if you could convince them to come with you to the class).

Javin
March 1, 2012, 04:43 PM
@Telekinesis: See, this is why I come to these forums. :)

These are all excellent points, and to be honest, ones I hadn't really thought about. My military training is definitely the basis of how I handle a weapon. While I have attempted to adapt it for home/personal defense, it's still probably more of an adaptation of urban firefights than handling a "typical" civilian scenario. (Realizing of course the relativity of the term "typical.")

The Tueller Drill is very interesting, and something I'll definitely look into. Just have to see if there's more classes along these lines locally than the much more common "here's how you release a magazine. Now here's the answers for your test" classes I've been in.

In hindsight, you've likely hit the nail squarely on the head. My assumption that a completely untrained attacker would ALSO react by heading for cover when cover fire is laid down could well be wrong. Probably safe to assume that gang-bangers don't spend a lot of time at the range or in classes. A quick youtube search of gas station holdups does seem to reflect that the aggressor isn't the one ducking for cover, even when the fire is being returned.

Keep the info coming!

9mmepiphany
March 1, 2012, 06:34 PM
The Tueller Drill is very interesting, and something I'll definitely look into.
Something to be aware of concerning the Tueller Drill.

While it is commonly used to teach how close a knife wielding person can be to be a danger to you, that isn't it's original intent. It was originally developed by Dennis Tueller to encourage recruits to develop their hand-to-hand defensive skills. Knife attacks that you become aware of from 21 feet away are extremely rare.

45_auto
March 1, 2012, 06:55 PM
Advice on training?

Get yourself some REAL training from an establishment the instructors of the quality of Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, etc.

It'll be the best couple of hundred dollars you ever spent.

I'm sure you won't follow this advice, unfortunately, the only people who realize how true this statement is are the ones who do the training! :rolleyes:

ProShooter
March 1, 2012, 08:36 PM
As a Virginia based instructor, I'd love to know where you went for training...just for my own ****s and grins...

With that said, I'd love to have you attend one of our Defensive Handgun classes. I think you would enjoy it and hopefully learn something.

I would be very careful about using the "triple tap" as you have described it, as well as the idea of "cover fire". Both have very specific uses in a gunfight and are things that the average joe may never need/use.

Old Guy
March 5, 2012, 04:54 AM
Training is such a huge assumption on a Gun Forum. I think "To do what" comes to mind. But mixing Military mind set, with civilian carry of a self defense hand gun, could be not the best idea you ever had.

Just thought I would add this.

You can spoil your day, and maybe your pistol with a squib load, no powder etc.

The round could end up stuck in the pipe, TRB... Next round whacks that stuck bullet, not good. So do what so many shooters are doing now, use electronic ear muffs, they have come down a lot in price now. You can hear the squib!

Plus you can hear RO commands, or safety calls, as in Cease Fire.

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