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Left Handed Driver vs. Car Jacker

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by WNC Seabee, Dec 14, 2010.

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  1. WNC Seabee

    WNC Seabee Member

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    What have you fellow left handed folks done to prep for a carjacking? As a lefty, our strong side arm/hand is blocked by the door and our natural point shooting is hindered.

    OTHER THAN "learn to use your weak/right hand". What preparations or techniques have you employed?

    Edit to clarify. I DO practice weak side, I'm not just being lazy, I'm looking for other answers to complement that skill.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    [I am not left-handed. However, a friend of mine and mentor who is VERY educated in self-defense issues is and I've watched him deal with all sorts of shooting/defensive scenarios, in fact, often turning the tables on us "rightey's" and making us run drills that favor his strong side. Enlightening.]

    While I understand your reluctance to hear that response two dozen times, setting yourself up to do exactly that when in the car is probably a good idea.

    Most of us shoot a fair bit with our weak/support hand (whether left or right) as those skills are very important whichever way you face the world. If I was driving a right-hand-drive automobile, I'd want my weapon accessible to the left side.

    A holster mounted between your seat and the console that you transition your carry gun into when settling in for a drive would be a really good idea.
     
  3. WNC Seabee

    WNC Seabee Member

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    Okay, so the "learn to shoot weak side" is covered.

    I do shoot weak handed as a regular part of my practice. What I'm going for in this thread are less obvious and cliched answers. Perhaps someone has a great piece of equipment they've discovered or a neat ninja style body contortion move they'd like to share.

    We all preach ( or should) having a backup plan, or planning for the unexpected, that's what I'm looking to the group for.
     
  4. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    I can keep a gun in my driver door map pocket so it is there for me (LH also). Both my vehicles also automatically lock the doors once put into gear
     
  5. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    ^ that and shoot through the door, which will conceal what you are doing with your left hand.
     
  6. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Member

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    i learned to use my weak hand.

    i also keep a knife in my right picket, and a can of pepper spray in the console.
     
  7. IBEWBULL

    IBEWBULL Member

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    Good question and I look foreword to seeing what comes up.
    My first thought is use the gas and book out of there.
    I do practice both left and right at close range and hope others do also.
    I was supposed to be a Seabee 99.9 % chance they said, HA got me. I ended up an IC-2
     
  8. rainbowbob

    rainbowbob Member

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    I think you are asking for the impossible - and I'm a lefty too.

    I'll be interested to see what (if anything) comes up here - but I cannot envision a position that would allow a lefty to quickly and effectively use a firearm from the driver's seat without using the right hand. Perhaps that is merely a lack of imagination.

    So this won't be the answer you're looking for - but I'll post it anyway:

    Snubby in my inside (left) jacket pocket, accessed by my right hand.
     
  9. William Lee

    William Lee Member

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    Try a straight edged blade in your jacket, or somewhere on your upper body on the right hand side. I'm RH, but I keep a straight blade in my inner breast pocket of my jacket for this scenario. The first time it happened, I couldn't get to my folder because of my coat and seatbelt, so now there's an extra option. I personally think if you're going to prepare realistically for these situations, given all of the variables, it behooves one to carry at least two knives--I like one folding and one straight and in different places on your body--in addition to your guns. It's going to all come down to options, as no two situations will be the same, so I want as many options as I can get.
     
  10. William Lee

    William Lee Member

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    To add a bit to my response, if it's such an up close and personal attack, and you havn't already drawn your gun, you're in for an unpleasant ordeal I would guess. That said, if you use SA and have identified the attack before it gets too close, then the gun makes more sense. If you're really under the hammer, gun pointed at you and you never saw it coming, just give up the car, hopefully you've got insurance.
     
  11. mbogo

    mbogo Member

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    I leave room between my car and the one stopped in front of me. If accosted, I would hit the accelerator and try to escape.

    Barring that, if my wife can get to her gun, she'll do what it takes.

    mbogo
     
  12. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I worked with a couple of friends on this a while back and what we found is:

    1. if they are so close that you can't drive away, there is no way to draw and fire...from either a strong or weak side holster.
    2. you can draw and get a sight picture, while throwing yourself across the car into the passenger seating area...if you don't have a high console (we were working in squad cars without consoles)...but if you have the time to do that, you'll usually have the time to drive away.
    3. if your attacker is just a carjacker and he is that close already, your best course of action is to just open the door, step out and hand him the keys...realizing that this action both frees your strong hand and puts his back toward you.
    4. if it becomes apparent that he might want to shoot you anyway, keep you right hand openly in view to as it lowers their perception of danger of a defense...it is one of the advantages of being a lefty or carrying a BUG on the left side
     
  13. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

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    2 solutions to this problem:

    1.) learn to shoot right handed.........good thing to learn to do anyways.

    2.) buy a European car.....
     
  14. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    Y'all still have "weak" sides? OK, 'nuff said about that.

    Well, anyway, lefties do have a bit of advantage when the carjacker is attacking from the right.

    Being totally dependent on one hand as the weapon hand is a limitation, regardless. Carrying just one weapon in just one place on one's anatomy is also a limitation. One solution, when seated in a vehicle, has long been to let the car carry the gun, in a position where it can be reached with either hand, but the caveat there is that in an emergency bail-out, anything not attached to one's body is probably going to be left behind inside the vehicle.

    One old solution, still valid, is an ankle rig. A small gun worn inside the ankle is reachable by EITHER hand while seated. This ankle gun need NOT be left in place when exiting the car; transfer it to a pocket or other conventional carry method, if desired. If the weapon is not normally carried in the ankle rig while walking around, it can be an amazingly large and/or hefty weapon. Plenty of times when patrolling the "Ward" at night, my ankle gun was an inch or so from one of my hands, as my left ankle was drawn up near my lowered hand, at the door sill, as the left foot was on the gas, and my other hand was on the wheel. When suspicious folks were just a bit too close to the car, I might rest a hand on the weapon, or even obtain a firing grip. (Before it was gentrified, this "Ward" saw a few ambushes of LEOs.)

    At the height of my ankle carry days, I was using an SP101 in an Alessi ankle rig daily, and sometimes still do. The SP101 is no slouch when it comes to shooting; larger than a J-frame, it behaves more like a duty revolver in my hands. For a while in the mid-1980's, I even carried an HK P7 in a much poorer ankle rig, to accompany another P7 that rode in the duty rig. That nylon ankle rig was not the most stable, and a P7 is big for an ankle gun, so I only did this when in uniform.

    Off the clock, out of uniform, there have been quite a few times I carried on the ankle while inside the car, then transferred the SP101 to a different mode of carry before exiting the car; no need to remove the ankle holster itself; leave it in place for the return trip. I typically carry two or even three snubbies at a time; one weapon virtually always rides at 0300.

    Sometimes, when in uniform, and therefore open-carrying, people will notice that I am eating left-handed*, while my duty holster is on my right hip. Well, at my PD we usually patrol alone, and better access to my primary duty handgun while seated in a patrol car is largely what drove me to select my right hip as the default "primary" carry position, even though I am a lefty. There were a couple of other reasons, but this one is relevant to this discussion. Texas did not have much legal handgun carry when I first started wearing the badge, so I didn't have a regular carry spot to start with, before I was an LEO. I didn't even own a holster before that, as handguns had to be transported in the trunk to be legal. I simply trained myself to carry on my "off" side, from the start of my carry days.

    Just once more, like I asked above, y'all still have "weak" sides?

    *Actually, I use chopsticks, spoons, and knives with either hand, so one has to pay attention to which hand I am using to eat.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  15. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Most of Europe is left hand drive...right hand drive is mostly a British Commonweath thing (+Japan)
     
  16. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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    Buy a right hand drive car.
     
  17. IBEWBULL

    IBEWBULL Member

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    Think outside the box my friends.
    Windows up, doors locked running engine yes?
    Drive then, you can not mess with a gun and drive well unless you are a stunt man.
    Limiting the question to no off hand gun just kills the whole idea.
    Lets assume he has no right arm then. Thought of Monte Python release the Tigers."
    Other than driving in some way ,ramming or what ever.
    At 2 feet or less a lefty can swing his arm and up left like a hitching motion and fire instintively. Even if missing it will hopefully get them to scram.
    Being confined with a seat belt mvement in the cab and restriction from the center councel would be bad.
    Other than that I hope a quick prayer was said.
     
  18. Odd Job

    Odd Job Member

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    Well your problem (left hander in left hand drive) is the same as my problem (right hander in a right hand drive) when carrying a pistol in South Africa.
    After various courses and practical experience drawing in the car, here's what I found:

    1) If the goblin is at your side window and you're thinking about how to draw, you already lost. Somewhere in the preceding minutes the goblin's approach to your vehicle evaded your notice. Getting that fixed is a more valuable endeavour than deciding what to do when he has the drop on you (from the side). To that end, blind spot mirrors are a good plan, leaving adequate space between your car and the one in front, and occupying a central lane whenever possible can make it difficult for the goblin to sneak up on you.
    In South Africa many of these hijackings happen as people leave the home or come home at night after work. To reduce the chance of being surprised it is useful to have electronic gates, trim back hedges from garages and gates and have good visibility and lighting when approaching and leaving the property. A dog can be a good idea in some cases also.

    2) If you've seen the guy before he draws level with your vehicle, it may be possible to get away by manoeuvering the car. Circumstances will dictate whether you can do it, but the best plan at that point may be to get distance between you and the goblin.

    3) If you can't get away in the car (because it is parked or boxed in or otherwise inoperable) then you have to make a quick decision whether you can get the door open and a leg out before opening fire. I've tried this on the range in an old Golf and much depends on whether the seatbelt is on and the door unlocked. If you practice it on the range you can get out and be firing from a position between the door and windshield frame quite fast IF the seatbelt is already off and the door unlocked. Once you go that route it doesn't matter that your strong side is door side.

    4) If you can't get out and must fire from seated I don't think you got good times coming. If the goblin is approaching from the passenger side and you're in your seat you may have to shoot weak handed, especially if he is coming from the rear of the vehicle. If you shoot weak handed you have to either transfer the gun from left to right (in your case) or make an awkward draw, depending on whether you had the gun IWB on the left or not.
    I carry IWB right side between 2 o'clock and 3 o'clock and I found that it was very awkward to try to draw that left handed in a right hand drive vehicle. The natural reach under stress meant that the gun was taken out upside down in cases where my shirt was over the grip. What I found ended up being more reliable for a holstered gun was drawing right-handed and passing the gun to the left and then shooting weak handed. It isn't a nice draw anyway, seated with IWB holster on the door side. Once the gun was in my left hand I could make good hits on targets placed outside the car on the passenger side, but I admit that if the goblin runs back around the rear of the car and then tries to storm the drivers side, then twisting in the seat especially with a seatbelt on could mean that I can't get him.

    5) Somebody suggested you can lean back over the center console if the goblin approaches the driver side. Depending on the car and whether you are buckled up, that might work and you might get off some shots. However if he backs off, ducks down and then comes round either from the front or the back then in my opinion you're in some serious trouble. Perhaps after ducking down and opening fire you could chance popping back up if no shots have been coming your way, and then try to get out the car. I don't know what the right answer is for that, we didn't practice that scenario. It was drummed into our heads that if the goblin is at your side window you failed already somewhere else in your tactics. I guess you then play it by ear and hope for the best. If he fires low that door is no protection for you, and you'll be praying that those window-winding arms are positioned just right if the window is not rolled down.

    We did anti-hijacking courses in South Africa back in 2002. It was all video-taped. The primary objective (assuming an immovable car) was to get out of the car and take advantage of early shooting opportunities as soon as possible. Whilst firing from around the car, we were taught that no part of the car can be relied upon as cover, but some concealment and attenuation can be offered by doors, wheels and the engine. Once you're out the car (even if it means you only have one foot on the ground) then you have valuable options.

    I learned on that course was that there are several issues when firing out of a car:

    1) Holstered IWB gun is difficult to get at and causes lost time. Some folks will suggest a fixed mounting point for the gun in the car, possibly at the center console. Now for reasons that are specific to my perception of the threat in South Africa, I didn't like that option and instead traveled with the gun under my left thigh. I was therefore committed to an initial weak hand draw and I accepted the risks associated with having a loose firearm in an accident. That was my choice of tactic based on experience on the range and certain other factors to do with the behaviour of these goblins that I won't go into here.

    2) Seatbelt on when sitting in a stationary car is a bad plan.

    3) You can get out of a car pretty damn fast if you have practiced it, but if not there is good chance for a fumble. We did these drills passenger side and driver side and combined passenger and driver firing forward and rearward as we exited the car. Probably would be very rusty now, but in my opinion it is a very valuable experience to get your car on the range and work out what the best plan is to get out, use the best attennuation possible and engage those targets. After doing that all day, my right thigh was bruised black but it was worth it.

    4) When firing weak-handed out towards the passenger window I was distracted the first time by unexpected quantities of smoke, cartridge cases bouncing off the inside of the windshield and an almost tangible percussion/blast effect caused by firing in the car. I think without ear protection it's going to be fairly grim.

    5) The first time the passenger fired out of the car while I was firing out of the driver's side (door open) I was distracted by his empties hitting the roof of the car and rolling down the windshield.


    With regards to firing out of and around a car, I can only say that you are best off taking your car to a range where they allow 360 degree fire, and just have at it. If you start off by learning your blind spots and trying to gauge distances with regards to what you see in the mirror versus where the goblin actually is, that will be valuable. Blind spot mirrors are good, but a general situational awareness is invaluable. If your arse is still on your seat and you are firing, you are not in a great position.

    You've kind of got to experience this before you understand it.
     
  19. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    carjackers should be flattened, not perforated
     
  20. Old krow

    Old krow Member

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    If you're counting the number of times that it happens while the driver isn't already (while entering) in the car, then I walk to the D/S door via the front of the vehicle. To me it is as routine as picking a seat at the diner table. Lefties will understand that. :)
     
  21. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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  22. Odd Job

    Odd Job Member

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    Apparently there was a safety concern about flammable tanks in the event of an accident and the company had to change to CS gas.
    I like the idea of roast hijacker though :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  23. Roughneck08

    Roughneck08 Member

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    I purchased the gumcreek vehicle pistol mount that secures underneath my steering column. Awesome, cheap, easy install, very secure. When I get into my truck when off-duty or regardless I place my handgun in the mounted holster and solves my problem for being left handed. Makes things much easier.
     
  24. rainbowbob

    rainbowbob Member

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    That sounds like a useful rig - but it doesn't solve the problem of your left arm being pinned awkwardly against the door.
     
  25. THe Dove

    THe Dove BOOMER SOONER!!!

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    I let the wife drive so I can secure the vehicle at all times!!! ;-)

    The Dove
     
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