Help me evaluate my CCW choice.

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by Trey Veston, May 24, 2022.

  1. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    My daily carry weapon is a Sig P365 w/ night sights, 12-round mag, and manual safety. I have three holsters for it; IWB leather holster, OWB DeSantis leather w/ thumbstrap, and kydex OWB paddle. All three are comfy, but I use the DeSantis leather the most often under an untucked collared shirt.

    The P365 feels great, and it has met my criteria of sub 2" 5-shot groups at 25 yards. Points naturally and I have total confidence in it.

    Then yesterday, my son-in-law wanted to try out three different pistols I have to see which one he wants to buy for his own CCW.

    He shot my P365, my G19 Gen 5 MOS with red dot, and my G23 Gen 5 with Dawson sights.

    We went to the cabin range where we had multiple paper targets for accuracy, about a dozen beer cans set up, and a steel hostage reactive target.

    I let him shoot all three pistols with everything from factory ammo to my reloads consisting of match ammo and hot defensive loads. He shot at all types of targets.

    He was amazed at how well the P365 shot for such a small pistol with such little recoil compared to the G19.

    I had my daughter do the same and she liked the P365 the most...

    IMG_20220522_170716979.jpg

    Both are beginner shooters, so didn't really shoot any of them at speed. But, it looked like the P365 was the winner for all of us.

    Then, I decided to show them what a higher level shooter could do. I used the P365 and fired a magazine at the reactive target, making the swinger go back and forth. I hit about 70% of my shots.

    Then I picked up the G23 and did the same drill. I hit 12 out of 13 shots and was much, much faster.

    My son-in-law said it was amazing how fast and accurate I was with the G23.

    So, that got me to thinking that maybe I should be carrying the pistol that I am the fastest and most accurate with, if it is reasonably concealable.

    I'm thinking of setting up a challenge to truly evaluate which pistol I am the most effective with. I also have a Gen 4 G23, which I have a ton of holsters for, so I hope it is as good as the Gen 5 in terms of speed and accuracy.

    So, what type of targets and challenges would you set up to evaluate which pistol is the best for CCW?

    Obviously, I am going to have to buy a shot timer, so hopefully can afford one the next pay period.
     
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  2. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    The shot timer always gives non biased feedback. The shot timer can't tell you what is best for comfort and concealability, as it applies to things like your lifestyle, attire, weather, etc.
     
  3. MtnHiker

    MtnHiker Member

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    Well a full size pistol should be easier to shoot well. I recently had a similar experience. My son has a Sig P365x and on a trip to the range I had my Sig P228. We both shot the 228 better. First I will say Sig did tremendous work in developing the P365. It punches above its weight. To me it is adequate. I would go with the xl model even being a little larger than the base model it is still smaller than the 228 or g23.

    In your case you get 1 more round and 40cal so there is that but with that is weight and bulk. It is bigger and heavier. Tactically if you view your primary threat as multiple assailaints ie group car jackings etc then bigger is better.

    As for drills. I do these three in order presented.

    Draw take carefull aim and shoot slow single shots at a target for accuracy. Sometimes I keep on target sometimes I go to low ready between shots 1 to 2 magazines worth.

    Draw for two rapid shots to torso and reholster. Repeat until empty. 1 to 2 magazines worth.

    Finally from the holster draw, rapid double tap to the torso followed by aimed single shot to the head and reholster. Repeat these strings of 3 until empty. I find this is a skill builder and it helps me to regulate speed and accurcy and builds muscle memory.

    If my speed and accuracy is up to par doing this then I consider the particular weapon good to go.

    Personally the main thing a full size offer that smaller guns do not is that fine accuracy ie. With my 228 I can shoot a hostage tacker in the eye vs with the 365 I can hit the head but for most quicker practical shooting they are close.
     
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  4. GEM

    GEM Moderator Emeritus

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  5. golden

    golden Member

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    Trey VESTON,

    I would go with worst case scenariios.

    Try a draw and shoot at 3 full size silhouette target at 10 yards. Fire 1 shot or a double tap into each target to see how long it takes you. Limit yourself to only hits inside the 9 ring. You want them to go down, not still be a possible threat. I would shoot 1 to each, then double tap all of them. Another possible is to have someone call the threat, "LEFT TARGET ONLY". The idea is to deal with multiple threats in the least amount of time.

    Then try head shots only at 7 yards on 3 targets. This would be a failure to stop drill, it is not meant to be an execution. It would come into play if you have winter dressed attackers or maybe threats with body armor, which can happen. Just look at the moron in the BUFFALO supermarket murders.

    Last, do a 5 yard shoot with your WEAK HAND ONLY. Sure, you may be a great shot with a .40 S&W using both hands, but how are you with just your weak hand? It makes a difference. Whenever I shoot at the range, I always do a weak hand drill and sometimes do a left hand drill, shooting the whole 25 or 30 rounds from the left side (I am right handed), because, you never know.

    Good luck,

    Jim
     
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  6. luzyfuerza

    luzyfuerza Member

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    Yes, OP, you are going to have to buy a shot timer. Without a timer, you have no idea how well you can put rounds on target, at speed, in the practical situations where a concealed carry pistol might be needed. Without a timer, you cannot compare your performance with different handguns. Nor can you determine whether practice is doing you any good.

    I use the PACT Club 3. I've also heard good things about the RangeTech Bluetooth timer. Pick one, bite the bullet, and put it to use.


    With regard to the test and targets you use for your evaluation, you have lots of good choices. Some examples include:

    The FBI Qualification:



    Bill Wilson's 5x5 Skills Test (now an IDPA classifier):



    Ken Hackathorn's SUPER Test:



    I've shot all of these (and many more) but my personal favorite is the OLD IDPA classifier:



    Pick one (or more than one), test yourself, put the exercise up on your YT channel, and let us know how you did!!
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2022
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  7. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    Try and find a local IDPA or USPSA match. Shooting and moving/reloading on the clock in front of a group of strangers is more of a measure with a particular pistol than plinking with a couple of family members or friends.

    Outside of that get a shot timer and run some drills to see where your at.

    Personally I've never been able to reliably draw, present and put rounds on target with any of those tiny guns.
     
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  8. luzyfuerza

    luzyfuerza Member

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    I realized that I hadn't shot the new (January 2019) FBI pistol qualifier (my last FBI qualifier was with the previous version of the test), so, I headed out to the range a couple of mornings this week to see how I'm doing. (Shot using my XD45 service model, from concealment, my 230 grain LRN reloads, OWB kydex)

    I've always thought that the FBI qualifier was pretty easy due to the large target and generous par times. The results of my runs were, well, useful.

    This was the target from Wednesday morning. I met all of the par times, but yes, I mashed four shots low and left at 25 yards, for a 92% score. Still passing at the instructor level, but not where I wanted to be.

    I followed this test up with some press-to-surprise-break work from 25 yards, and ironed the trigger mash out.

    20220527_125120.jpg


    I shot the qualifier again this morning. Hits on target were much better (only one shot outside of the QIT target outline), but I fumbled the emergency reload from seven yards (NUTS!!!). Three shots were late following the emergency reload, each counting as a miss. Everything else was under par time. So, again, a 92% score. Passing for an instructor, but not where I want to be.

    20220527_124450.jpg


    Maybe I'll try this test again tomorrow with my wife's Shield EZ9. THAT ought to be a challenge!!
     
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  9. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    Maybe post a video of you drawing from concealment a micro pistol (that is what we're talking about) and getting shots on target at 25yds.

    That would be more believable than some pictures of random plates.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2022
  10. luzyfuerza

    luzyfuerza Member

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    No, @Good Ol' Boy , the OP was about comparing an experienced shooter's performance with something like a 365 to that same shooter's performance with a G23, using some objective test.

    The question that the OP raises is terrific! It is exactly what I believe that everyone who chooses to carry a defensive firearm should do. Actually go to the range, try out different tools, objectively measure the results on paper and on the timer, and determine, for yourself, what tools work best in your hands. For the conditions in which you live.

    I'm just sharing my results as I actually do what I recommended to the OP.

    But if you don't like what I write, or the pictures that I upload, or the objective test that I selected, or if you don't believe anything that I post, then please feel free to ignore me.

    Or, better yet, post prose or photos or times and targets or videos of you shooting a test that you think do the job better!
     
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  11. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    That is my carry philosophy and it applies regardless of area or anticipated threat, everywhere.
     
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  12. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    If you think that running qualifiers is easy with a pistol, but you're still having some surprise trigger press issues, perhaps consider running the same drills using a DA/DAO revolver. ;)

    Learning to consistently control a heavy DA/DAO revolver trigger press makes using the various light and short DAO-ish/SAO-ish plastic pistol triggers seem lighter and faster. (Learning to let the revolver trigger recover before re-engaging the trigger face for a deliberate subsequent shot - or shots - is also a good skill-builder, although it flies in the face of the 'trigger-reset' enthusiasts.)

    There are still some old black & white films of older FBI revolver training to be found archived online, and it might surprise some of the younger plastic pistol shooters to see what a 50's-60's era revolver shooter was expected to be able to accomplish with a DA revolver, both 1 & 2-handed, including out to 50yds, under time constraints.

    FWIW (it's free, so not much ;) ), even the LE firearms initial and refresher training I attended at the beginning of the 90's, and then in the mid 2000's, included instructors being able to pass scored courses-of-fire that included threat targets out to 50yds. One of the drills involved shooting the same course-of-fire, out to 50yds, having the front and rear sights completely covered with black electrical tape.

    Sure, revolvers were very few in number in the '90 class, and nonexistent by the time the 2000's classes came along. More's the pity, though, because it was some of the guys using TDA (DA/SA) and LEM trigger modules who had the most difficulties with their trigger techniques. These were supposed to be experienced LE instructors, too. Kinda sad. The era of cops having had to learn to properly run long and heavy revolver triggers had passed, and nowadays some people complain of short, 5.5-7lbs trigger pulls being too heavy and long. :rofl:
     
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  13. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    Maybe my browsers not working properly but I still don't see a video of you drawing and shooting a micro pistol from concealment on the clock.
     
  14. luzyfuerza

    luzyfuerza Member

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    I agree completely! Training with a DAO revolver is some of the best trigger control practice around!

    The last pistol class I took, I used a 4" S&W model 64. Great exercise.
     
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  15. luzyfuerza

    luzyfuerza Member

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    As I mentioned above, I wanted to shoot the FBI pistol qualifier with my wife's Shield EZ9. And to compare my results with the little EZ9 with those from my much bigger XD45 carry/practice gun (which fits my hand much better).

    A couple of notes:

    1) I had only shot a grand total of four or five rounds previously through my wife's gun, so I put 50 rounds through it the other day just for familiarization.
    2) I found that I wasn't quickly picking up the three white dot sights, so with my wife's permission (this IS her gun, after all) I blacked out the rear dots, and painted the front dot bright orange. Much faster to pick up the sights this way.
    3) Her carry holster was pretty tight (Kydex OWB), so I loosened it up just a bit to smooth out the draw.

    When I shot the FBI qualifier with the little EZ9, my times on each stage were within par, and the accuracy was good. I dropped one shot about an inch low on the QIT-99 from 25 yards, for a 98% score. This is, of course, passing at the instructor level.

    Here's the target:

    20220601_132634.jpg



    Of course, within reason, handgun shooting results depend more on the shooter than on the equipment. Although I'm neither particularly fast, nor particularly accurate with a handgun, I was able to pass this qualifier at the instructor level, with both of these guns.

    That being said, I think it would be really challenging to shoot this qualifier with something like an LCP, with its tiny sights and short grip.


    Just for kicks and grins, this isn't the first time that I've evaluated little versus bigger handguns for a CCW role. Here's one from a few years ago:

    .45 carry pistol
     
  16. Craig_VA
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    Craig_VA Contributing Member

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    Based on their sponsorship of ASP, and Correia's recommendation thereof, I picked up a RangeTech timer last year. At $75 it is probably the most cost-effective timer out there. You have to use it with a phone app, but that means you have a more clearly understandable management screen compared to buttons and small display on the timer, and nice historic data to review. I am quite happy with the product.
     
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  17. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I can’t say that’s a bad idea but for me there is always a compromise, after all I am carrying a pistol.
     
  18. defjon

    defjon Member

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    I have this thought everytime I shoot my 1911 after a hellcat or other subcompact.

    Amazing how fast the larger full sized guns are...and how much more authority the 45 rings steel with vs the 9mm/38...
     
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  19. murf

    murf Member

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    sounds like either gun will work for ccw. i bet you have had more trigger time with the g23. if so, get the 365 round count up to the g23 and reevaluate.

    i vote "both" for ccw!

    murf
     
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  20. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    How did you arrive at that criterion?

    Consider that an attacker moving at "Tueller speed" will be moving at around five meters per second; that he will likely be much closer than 25 yards before the defender will be able to shoot; that while the body parts important for a physical stop may approximate 2 inches, they will be hidden and moving, and hitting them will be largely a matter of chance and will likely require several vey rapid shots.

    I would suggest shooting at six to ten feet, and using a target the sizee of a small pie plate.
     
  21. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    *sigh*

    Like most who scoff at evaluating a pistol's accuracy at 25 yards, you have failed to acknowledge the basic principle and truth that a handgun that is capable of a particular accuracy at 25 yards is that much more accurate at shorter distances.

    I have shot dozens of popular handguns for accuracy at 25 yards and then shot them for speed at 7 yards and found that the increased accuracy at 25 yards corresponded to very favorable accuracy at 7 yards.

    But, the difference in accuracy at 7 yards between a pistol that shoots 1" groups and one that shoots 6" groups at 25 yards is negligible. Yes, just about any pistol is acceptable for self-defense at 10 yards or less in regards to accuracy.

    But when you open up that distance to 17 yards, such as the church shooting in Texas a year or so ago, or the 43 yards in Tucson around the same time, a pistol's inherent accuracy and ability becomes absolutely critical.

    What are the chances that I would have to use my CCW further than 7 yards? .05%. Chances that I would have to use it at less than 7 yards in my area? .07%.

    In other words, the chance that I would have to use my CCW pistol in ANY instance is shockingly low in my extremely low crime area.

    I test all of my new pistols for accuracy at 25 yards to set a baseline. Most will do under 2" at 25 yards. The ones that won't don't get considered for self-defense work. Why? Because that's what I'm comfortable with.

    I shoot in GSSF and all of my guns I use will do 1.5" or better at 25 yards with a rest. When in competition, timed, off hand, and under duress, that 1.5" increases to 10" at 25 yards while a 1" pistol opens up to about 8". Imagine what a 4" pistol would increase to...
     
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  22. Airborne77

    Airborne77 Member

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    I've always liked the 357 drill...put a 12" target at 3yards, 5 yds, and 7yds...then train one shot each how fast left to right then right to left. Close to far then far to close add movement...start walking left to right ,right to left..straight back (heels up so u don't trip)..add simulated cover a barrel a box etc..move to that while shooting. Simulate a likely scenario u may encounter say from your bedroom to your front door how far is that shoot it on the range. Shoot at night with a light ,practice movement. Light fire move....load mags with different amounts of ammo change mags behind simulated cover. weak hand, two hand, stronghand mag changes with and arm that was simulated as being hit and non functional(using a belt or corner to rack the slide..he'll yeah have fun shoot it up. What your looking for is fast hits not tiny groups first hit usually wins so push the speed to get quick hits but remember a fast miss is useless!!! Less than 2% of police can draw and fire and hit in less than 2 seconds so that's the goal draw and hit in 2 seconds to win.. definitely practice those longer shots as well slow fire accuracy a good gun fighter is very well rounded. I also like to shoot prone and lying on my back..careful resting a revolver on the side of your leg though you'll only do that once.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2022
  23. couldbeanyone

    couldbeanyone Member

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    Steel Challenge. Take your gun and go shoot a steel challenge. I have shot every handgun I own in a steel challenge. If I can't shoot at least B class with a gun, I won"t even consider carrying it. Unlike USPSA and IDPA, Steel Challenge is purely draw and shooting, also no partial credit for marginal accuracy, no C or D zone. Much better for evaluating how well you shoot the gun in a hurry than competitions where how well you run and move can have more effect on your score than how well you shoot. You will quickly find that guns with tiny grips or minimal sights are extremely challenging.....
     
  24. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    I have not. That dispersion increases with distance is not in question.

    I have simply noted that great precision at SD distances is rarely of much real use.

    Ten yards is beyond the range at which one is likely to engage an attacker in lawful self defense.

    That's a silly way of looking at it.

    By the way, seven yards is a widely used in the evaluation of allowable draw times. One who draws against a moving attacker at seven yards will find his actual shooting distance to be something much, much less.

    The defensive handgun is part of a man-machine system. What is important in terms of effectiveness is the shooter's ability to use it fire several shots very rapidly and put all of them into a fast-moving target somewhat smaller than the top of a shoebox at practical SD distances. Trigger pull, grip, sights, and recoil will influence that much more than the capability of the weapon to group from a rest.
     
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