Quantcast

Defensive gun holds. Arms close to body or extended?

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by Tallbald, Feb 12, 2016.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Tallbald

    Tallbald Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Messages:
    839
    Location:
    Southern KY
    OK I'm an armchair warrior of sorts. A shooter of handguns nearly fifty years, I've never been in a defensive situation (thank the Lord), or been through formal training in "tactics".`
    Usually I see illustrations of defensive handgun holding postures wherein the defender has both hands gripping the weapon with arms fully extended in a manner that to me mimics a target shooting or hunting hold position. I've always thought that this position, while maybe allowing a better sight picture, opens the holder up to having their arms struck, levered down or otherwise injured with a stick or weapon.
    Another defensive position I've seen (here it comes----- in videos and movies---let the Tallbald bashing begin) shows the handgun holder with his or her handgun supported by both hands but with their arms bent slightly at the elbows, and the handgun held closer to the body or even the face with the sights also aligned for targeting. No. Not within slide-to-eyeball contact close.
    Now. From a physics standpoint,I would think the shorter overall length of the bent arm style hold would give the holder better leverage against twisting and such by another person. And present less of a strike target region where ones held weapon could be distracted by a swung bat or stick.
    OK what am I missing? Insightful video links appreciated too. Don
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  2. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    11,633
    Location:
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    Here's a good article by shooting instructor Kathy Jackson on the basic stances commonly taught.

    The one the OP describes as:
    is most likely the Isosceles. And the one the OP describes as:
    is probably the Weaver.

    These stances developed primarily to assist recoil management and facilitate quick follow up shots. Both have similar applications. There is continual debate as to which is better. Some instructors, Massad Ayoob being one, think that an accomplished shooter should be able to use either effectively depending the circumstances.

    But neither is really considered suitable for situations in which the assailant is close enough to strike or grab the shooters arms. If the assailant is that close one needs be getting himself out of there by creating distance, i. e., moving back or diagonally away; or he needs to get the gun out of the way by bring the gun very close into his body and firing from something like the retention position.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  3. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,794
    Location:
    Garrettsville, Oh.
    What Frank said. Edit below because I had a mental sneeze. I twitched and everything turned to goo.

    ETA: My brain plugged "wheelchair" in place of "armchair". Original post text below in case in does apply to anyone. Otherwise... Nevermind!

    The short answer is to call 937-544-7228 or visit www.tdiohio.com and arrange to attend a class. Yes, I read that you're in a wheelchair. Yes, TDI will work with you if they know ahead of time.

    The other short answer is that I do not know anything about methods that are used to best advantage by someone with permanently mobility and range of motion.There are several techniques I think of right now that, sitting in my office chair, elbows and wrists would be affected by the arms and back of a wheelchair.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  4. 230RN
    • Contributing Member

    230RN Marines raising the left-leaning Pisa tower.

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Messages:
    6,634
    Location:
    Calirado
    With laser sights*, I keep a two-handed hold pressed against the bottom of my rib cage. Hard for a kick or much of anything else to dislodge it, but exposes your head.

    It does reduce the effect of muzzle flash, with it way down there instead of in the line of sight, and it sure helps steady that wobbly little red dot.

    Terry

    * All my street guns have lasers on them.
     
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Messages:
    34,964
    Location:
    Central PA
    There is a continuum of gun positions from which one may fire -- just as there is a continuum of sight "pictures" or refinements one may use -- which vary greatly based on how close the threat you're shooting at is to you.

    The Isosceles, Chapman, or old school Weaver stances are good, stable, platforms from which to make a well-aimed shot at some distance: generally 5 yards out or greater.

    But that's not where all shootings take place. A good defensive trainer will teach that the draw stroke is made up of different steps and that you can shoot from several points in your draw stroke. Cutting the draw into steps or "counts" you can shoot at:

    Step 2 in the draw: This is when your gun has just cleared the holster and you've got it rotated with the muzzle toward the bad guy, but still somewhere alongside your torso. Originally this was taught as the "speed rock", with a bit of an exaggerated back bend, but now it is generally referred to as "shooting from retention." The gun is jerked up out of the holster and rotated up to rest against the side of your pectoral muscle and is pointed by simply aligning your torso to face the attacker. As there is no extension of the strong arm you're protecting the gun with your own body (and fending with the support side arm), and can reliably put shots on the attacker's center of mass simply by facing his way. Obviously, sights aren't involved at all. This is effective if the attacker is a couple yards away, at arms length, or right on you. No need to take the time, the effort, or the risk of extending that gun in front of you.


    Step 3 in the draw: This is where the gun is up at chest level, starting to head up into your line of sight, and your support hand finds your strong hand to get a full grip on the gun. There are a few different postures from which you can fire while gripping the gun this way, and some of them still manage to use the weak side arm and/or shoulder to fend off grab attempts. You still don't need to see the sights, though in some positions you may get the benefit of seeing the silhouette of the rear of the slide superimposed on the threat.


    Step 4 in the draw: And this is where the gun is pushing forward and is fired just as it reaches your normal extension. (NOT maximum extension, elbows locked, but the slightly arms-bent position from which you fire normal aimed shots.) You may see the silhouette of the butt of the gun as an aiming index at close range. You may see the front sight clearly at intermediate ranges. You may see both the front and rear sights and take the time to "dress" the rear sight for a more precise shot at longer ranges.
     
  6. strambo

    strambo Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,961
    Location:
    Oregon
    You need to understand the difference between a shooting stance (the position you are in while pumping bullets into a target) and a ready position.

    For the most part, a ready position should be close to the body to keep the gun out of reach of a grab attempt and allow you to see better. This would be used searching or in situations where you may need to shoot in an instant, but at this moment you aren't clear to fire.

    The best shooting stance while firing is the Modern Iso, both arms extended fully. This is assuming distance allows, say over 3 yards. Less than that, or if they are charging you, compress your shooting position closer to the body for retention as you keep pumping bullets in them while moving offline.
     
  7. Tallbald

    Tallbald Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Messages:
    839
    Location:
    Southern KY
    Thank you all for the answers and links. This is a lot to process and attain a mental picture of to fix in my mind. Don
     
  8. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    11,633
    Location:
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    And for anyone who hasn't been introduced to the steps of the draw stroke as usually taught these days --

    1. You want to achieve a full firing grip before withdrawing the pistol from the holster. You should not have to shift your grip. Throughout the draw stroke, until you are actually going to fire the gun, the trigger finger stays off the trigger, outside the trigger guard and indexed along the frame. 



    2. While the shooting hand is moving to grip the pistol, the support hand is placed flat on the abdomen near the same level as the grip of the pistol. This helps assure that the support hand isn't swept by the muzzle and also puts the support hand in position to take grip the pistol over the shooting hand.



    3. The pistol is withdrawn straight upwards from the holster, and the muzzle is rotated toward the target after it clears the holster. If using 1911, Browning High Power, or some other gun with a safety engaged, the safety may be disengaged here, but the trigger finger remains off the trigger, outside the trigger guard and indexed along the frame.



    4. When the muzzle is rotated toward the target the shooting hand is at about the level of the pectoral muscle and the shooting hand is held at or touching the side with the muzzle pointed to the threat. If the threat is very close, within a few yards, the gun may be fired from this position. This is called the retention position. 



    5. At the retention position, the support hand comes up to assume its part of the grip. The two hands then together extend the gun either fully up to shooting position or partially at a downward angle to the low ready position, depending on the circumstances.

 Or the gun may be fired, if necessary at any point between the support hand gripping the gun over the shooting hand and the point of full extension.



    The goal is to do this smoothly. If one concentrates on being smooth and practice over and over again, he will get fast. Speed comes from smoothness and no wasted motion. And one must be in control at all times. At lot is going on, and a misstep on the presentation can be devastating. But by being smooth you retain control, and by being smooth you become fast. And by being smooth and in control you will be accurate.



    That's the draw I learned at Gunsite, and it's a pretty standard technique. Here's that five count draw, as taught at Gunsite, being demonstrated by Charlie McNeese, one of the Range Masters (senior instructors) at Gunsite Academy.

    Here another well respected instructor, Rob Pincus, does it just a little differently.
     
  9. Bobson

    Bobson Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    4,266
    Location:
    Kendall County, TX
    I still prefer Paul Gomez' four-count drawstroke (or at least, his explanation of it). Here it is.

    And his short explanation of the drawstroke, and how we got here: Click.

    Finally, here is a short discussion and demo on stance.

    Personally, it wasn't so much that his views were particularly breakthrough or cutting edge, it was his method of teaching. You'll quickly see how easy it is to practice what he's demoing, as he breaks everything down into easily digested chunks. Wish I could have taken a class from him, but I only just heard of him shortly before his untimely death.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
  10. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Messages:
    3,707
    Location:
    Central Fla
    If somebody has time to reflect on defensive positions while the bad guy has a weapon in your face........... really.
     
  11. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Messages:
    34,964
    Location:
    Central PA
    Well, certainly if the bad guy has a "weapon in your face" it might be time to reflect on other ways out of the situation rather than just going for your gun. Pretty sketchy to try and "draw to a drawn gun."

    But it is very unfortunate to suggest that, since things will happen quickly there's no value in learning and training to prepare a good defensive reaction. The whole point of training and practice is to get these steps into your hands and head and habit so that you AREN'T "reflecting on defensive positions" when you only have a split second to react.

    These things are pretty easily ingrained into your reactions so you do not have to sit and think about them.

    If the guy's at bad breath distance and closing, you aren't going to have to stop and think about whether to extend that gun all the way out to position 4. You're just going to get it out of the holster, rotated toward him and press the trigger until he stops what he's doing. You MIGHT not even realize you did it until it's over.

    Just like how you develop the habit of using the sight picture you have to have to make a shot, without having to sit and decide which to use. As Brian Enos put it, "seeing everything you NEED to make the shot." The subtext there is, "...and nothing further. Don't waste time making the shot more perfect than is has to be."

    After you've been shooting for a while in dynamic situations off of a "square range" you'll take each shot as it appears using whatever refinement of sight picture you have to use to make a shot at that distance, without consciously thinking about it.

    (I.e.: Target at 3 yards, you aren't going to see the rear sight and check alignment of the front and rear before pressing the trigger. You're going to see the back of the gun and the target and BANG. Target at 25 yards, you aren't going to go off a gun index view, you're going to slow down and see both sights and refine your picture. It doesn't take conscious thought.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
  12. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Messages:
    34,964
    Location:
    Central PA
    I'll add to this that that is the "classic" way to do it and to practice it, but when guys like SouthNarc (and others) started developing better techniques for EXTREMELY close fighting with a firearm they came up with some variations to that.

    For example, support hand moved up by the head so the elbow and forearm guard the left side of the face and head, combined with blading the stance a bit and crouching slightly to further shield the draw.

    Here's a pic from Gunsite to illustrate:
    [resize=500] cqp3.jpg [/resize]

    Here's one from Handguns Magazine that shows a more aggressive option:
    [resize=500] close-up-attack-2.jpg [/resize]
     
  13. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,794
    Location:
    Garrettsville, Oh.
    I guess this is directed at Sav.250.

    Do you think boxers mull over training material and consult with their coaches mid-round? Or fencers pause a match to study diagrams and text? Can you think of ANY physical activity where it is considered the norm to stop in the middle, especially a competitive activity, and do analysis?

    No, you can't and neither can I. That's why you train beforehand. Train frequently. Train old skills. Train new skills.

    It amazes me the mental leaps people will make to justify their deliberate lack of training.
     
  14. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    11,633
    Location:
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    And that nicely illustrates the progression of training. One lays a foundation and then builds from there.

    So, for example, one starts by developing a good presentation while standing. Then adds movement while drawing the gun. Then starts shooting close targets from the retention position. Then adds the warding off. Then incorporates movement to increase distance -- with the first shots from retention transitioning to a two hand grip and flash sight picture. New skills build on the prior skills once those prior skills can be performed reflexively, on demand, without conscious thought.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
  15. wolf695

    wolf695 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    155
    All those are good, if you have the time.
     
  16. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    11,633
    Location:
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    And if you don't have the time, or make the time and effort, they will be things you won't learn how to do.
     
  17. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Messages:
    34,964
    Location:
    Central PA
    Indeed. As with any defensive reaction to violent assault, you either have time to react or you do not. Fortunately, these things are designed to be modifications of very natural movements when startled/confronted, and can be executed extremely quickly, reflexively.

    By their 'warding' nature (the guarding arm up, blading the body to pull the gun hip back away from the attacker) they also work to buy you time and space to work. As the attacker is crashing into you, you're holding your holster and shooting arm as clear as possible while you get that gun into play.

    Of course, your best MAY not be good enough. Your most accurate shot may miss. Your fastest presentation may not get the gun up before the bullet or blade finds you. You may never even see the bad guy coming.

    But you train to give yourself every possible chance to make things turn out in your favor.
     
  18. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    11,633
    Location:
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    If you're attacked, presumably you're going to be doing something, and that something will take time. If you have developed the skills, it takes no more time to use them then it would to make a hash of things.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice