CCC Shaggy AIWB holster upgrades

I’ve been carrying in a Shaggy from Custom Carry Concepts for a couple of months now. Recently, the guys at CCC were kind enough to send me some upgrades for my holster out of the blue. These are pretty simple, but extremely functional upgrades that really enhanced the concealability of the holster.

Killing Bambi with a 9mm (Or Why A Head-Shot Might Not Stop The Attack)

Click bait title right?  Obviously I don’t mean using a 9mm to hunt Mr. Buck; but, I recently had to dispatch a gravely wounded deer with my CCW and in doing so I came away with some insight worth sharing.

First a quick yarn about how the events unfolded.

I was on my way to work in pretty heavy fog, when out of nowhere a deer jumped in front of the car ahead of me and tried to wrestle.  As expected the car won.  Amazingly the driver didn’t stop, instead they  kept going (how do I know they didn’t have insurance…) even though their headlight and portions of their bumper where now occupying the road.  Normally I wouldn’t have stopped either, but the deer came to rest directly in front of the bus entrance to my son’s elementary school.  It was early in the morning and the buses hadn’t started running, but I knew if I didn’t move the carcass no one would.  I didn’t want school buses dodging a deer in morning school traffic, nor did I want small kids to start their school day witnessing bloody gore.

Continue reading “Killing Bambi with a 9mm (Or Why A Head-Shot Might Not Stop The Attack)”

Can Can Concealment: Doing it wrong

cancanconcealment derp

I wonder how the marketing conversation that produced this photo went…

“Guys, I’ve got a great idea for our feature image! Let’s have it be a photo of someone demonstrating our holster and how to use it, you end up pointed a loaded gun at your hand!”

Why I went back to appendix carry

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a post called “why I ditched appendix carry” which ignited a bit more controversy than I’d imagined it would. Fast forward to today, and I’m writing a completely different post about how I’m back on the appendix train. Interestingly, I still stand by that post from October 2014; because at the time I switched off AIWB my reasons for doing so were valid. Just like now that I’ve switched back to it my reasons are just as valid.

Continue reading “Why I went back to appendix carry”

Pistol Drills 7 Yards and Beyond

For this post I decided to combine both medium and long distance pistol drills. For those confused please see this post for more information on what I am talking about regarding distance.

The simple fact is that a decent pistol shot can make hits at 7-10 yards even without having a perfect grasp of the fundamentals; but, the further out you go, the more important those fundamental skills become. Many, many people have a response of awe when I discuss making 15 yard hits on a 3”x 5” index card. IT IS NOT THAT HARD! Especially with no time limit! But I will admit it will require some practice and effort.

Remember that all of the close range drills in my last article can be performed at longer ranges, and I often do so. But some drills are just better suited for specific distances. You wouldn’t do the doubles at 50 yards with the same PAR time as say 3 yards.

Draw to One Shot

In my previous article I made mention that drawing to one shot leads to cheating, and through the lens of close range shooting I stand by that statement. However, the further back you go, the more you can learn from a one shot drill. At 3 yards you can sling a round at an IPSC Metric target (or IDPA target) and get close to the center. At 10 yards you might hit the target. At 25 yards you will miss. This is why we should understand the reason for each drill.

This drill is simple enough. You draw the gun and shoot one round at the target. I like to start doing this at 10 yards and if I clean it 6-8 times, I start walking back to the point of utter failure and practice at that distance. I also prefer to shoot steel to minimize walking to the target to verify hits. I have a 6” x 8” piece of steel on a pole that I use for this drill.  Below is a video of me running the drill once – it is worth mentioning that the piece of steel is 8″ squared in this video.  I have since torched 1 inch off the sides to better mimic an IPSC A Zone.

Head Boxes

This is similar to the Doubles drill in the first article, but we make it harder by moving further back and using the head box as the target. Starting at 10 yards the goal is to draw and put two rounds into the head box or similar sized target. If you can meet a reasonable PAR time at 10 yards, move back to 15 or 20. This drill is tough and that is the goal. You will have zero success even getting the rounds on target without a proper sight picture. Your trigger press must be spot on and a flinch or anticipation will lead to a miss.

When working this drill with my CCW I like to mix it up, with a minimum of 2 and sometime as many as 6 shots per run.   Don’t expect hero status the first time you do this drill, but keep at it and you will realize improvement. I can assure everyone reading this, solid head box hits at 15 yards will make a 5 yard center of mass hit seem like child’s play.

Bullseye

1904infaimpistol

15, 20 and 25 yards are great distances for working on untimed accuracy. You can purchase some NRA B8 targets or print out something similar.  Staple them up and have at it. The goal is simple – the smallest group possible with no time limit. Repeatability is king. I like to run four strings of five shots each and actually measure the group. I write down the average group size as well as the smallest size. Keep in mind that at 25 yards you might find yourself at the accuracy limit of your weapon, especially if it is a run of the mill service weapon or small CCW.

The name Bullseye might be misleading to some readers that are familiar with NRA Bullseye competition. I am not implying you shoot this drill in classical 25 yard Bullseye stance, but instead a normal two-handed grip. If you are feeling saucy, try it strong hand or weak hand only!

El Presidente’

I did not include this in the original article because frankly most ranges won’t allow it. But if you can perform a standard 7 yard El Presidente’ you should. But I also recommend you perform this drill at 14 and 21 yards, if you have the facilities.

The drill is simple. 3 targets, 1 yard apart edge to edge. The gun is loaded with six rounds and the shooter faces up range away from the target with their hands at the surrender position, or above the shoulders. As originally designed the gun would be concealed, although us dirty, dirty gamers don’t use concealment with our competition gear. At the beep the shooter turns, draws and engages each target with two shots, then you perform a slide lock reload and shoot each target with an additional two round.

This drill works many things, including target transitions and reloads. By stretching the distance we can really grasp the difference distance to target makes on transition speed and accuracy. In my personal experience my shot times are slower, but the transitions are quicker as I increase the distance.  The distance makes the required target to target weapon movement less than at closer ranges.

As I said above, all of the short-range drills can be performed at the medium and long-range distances, but I rarely shoot the drills above at less than 10 yards. I have some additional drills for those who shoot competition and I will cover them at a later date.

Whether a competition shooter or you are only interested in practicing for CCW or self-defense, you will likely find these drills will help build skill. If you can master the drills given here and in the short-range article you will likely be among the best shooters you know.  Now, get out there and burn some powder – with a purpose!

Pistol Drills – 3 to 7 Yards

As a follow on to my last article,  Setting (and Tracking) Realistic, Attainable Goals, I wanted to give some drills that will improve your pistol shooting with a target distance of 3 to 7 yards. Some of these will work at a stodgy square “bowling alley” range and others require a more permissive environment.

Bullseye Mode

This is the simplest and works at any range. The goal is to shoot the smallest group possible at any distance. For this drill I recommend cardboard because paper will have a tendency to tear out and make the group appear larger than it actually is. Start close and work your way back. I normally do a run of 6 rounds. You will not get fast with this drill; you need not draw from a holster. The goal is sight alignment, trigger press and breathing.

3 yards

If your target looks like this at 3 yards, you need more practice!

This is the number 1 static range drill and everyone reading has probably done it, but I would suggest you try it again, but set a minimum time between shots. Say 10 seconds. That is enough time to bring the gun down, take a few breaths and aim again. You might find you are capable of better accuracy than you thought!

Dot-Torture Drill

This drill was created by David Blinder at personaldefensetraining.com and can be found here. The instructions are printed on the target, so I won’t waste our time repeating them here. With no time limit required this drill is good for a static range that doesn’t allow rapid fire. If you can’t draw from a holster, use low ready. Once you can clear it at 3 yards, move back to 5. This drill requires a decent understanding of sight alignment and trigger press fundamentals.

Garcia Dots (or The Dots)

This drill was created by Frank Garcia and is recommended by many USPSA shooters and trainers. It is often confused with Dot-Torture but the only similarity is the size of the dot. This drill uses six 2 inch dots arranged in two rows of three. You need a shot timer and you must set the par time to 5 seconds. Upon the beep you draw and shoot 6 rounds into a single dot. You then continue with each remaining dot using the same par-time. Your actual time is irrelevant as long as you can beat the par beep. The goal is all six shots either within or touching the 2 inch circle. The drill is a total of 36 shots and it is scored as misses/shots fired, or 30/36, if you had 6 misses.

The drill is designed for 7 yards, but you should start at 3 yards and work back. Consistently cleaning the drill at 7 yards is difficult for the best shooters, so don’t get discouraged.

You can mix it up and shoot some dots strong hand only, some weak hand only, etc. When modifying the drill I shoot it a few times and see what my average time is, and then I set the par for 0.5 seconds less.

In all honesty I shoot this drill virtually every time I go to the range as a means of warm up. I feel it is a much better training aid than the Dot-Torture, but with its draw and rapid fire requirements it is not useable at most static ranges and it is not for beginners.

Doubles

This is simple drill that helps build speed. It can be done at any distance, but for maximum speed training I use 3 yards. The drill is simple; you draw from concealment and put two shots into the target as quick as you can identify two sight pictures. This is NOT A DOUBLE TAP! A double tap is two shots with one sight picture and normally leads to one shot in the center of the target and the other in the upper region of the target.

It is worth mentioning that some people like to perform a similar drill but only shoot a single round. I have done that and found you can cheat your sight picture and get lucky. Shooting two shots requires you identify the sight picture with each trigger pull.

With this drill you see a flash of a sight picture, fire and the moment the sights are aligned you pull the trigger again. For a target I use a USPSA Metric target or a 6” x 10” box on a piece of printer paper.

My first attempt at this drill was in Ben Stoeger’s Fundamentals class and he made a joke about using a sun dial. Now, using my USPSA Production gear I can average a 1.05 on the drill with good center A-zone hits. From concealment my speed drops to around 1.5 or so, but that is a function of a concealed IWB draw. I promise I didn’t start off that quick – this drill works!

If your range won’t let you draw from a holster you can start at low ready and practice the draw in dry fire. You don’t get the full effect of grip and draw, but you still get the training on sight alignment at speed.

Bill Drill

What type of 7 yard drill list wouldn’t include the quintessential drill? The original Bill Drill, as told by Rob Leatham (go to 1:32 on this video to hear Rob talk about the creation of the drill) was to draw and fire 6 shots into a IPSC A zone as quick as you can get the hits. This drill works on the draw stroke, sight alignment, recoil control and trigger press. You must have all of the fundamentals squared away to accomplish this drill in less than 2.5 seconds.

Personally, from concealment using my S&W Shield, I generally turn in a 2.2 – 2.3  second run. With my USPSA rig I get 2.00 flat. I have gone faster, but that is not the average.

This drill is really fun but there are some downsides; you must have a rather liberal ran to do this drill for one and this drill will eat ammo. 10 runs, which is my minimum for this drill, will eat 60 rounds. But what a way to burn ammo!

For more information here is Caleb explaining and shooting the Bill Drill.

Four Aces

This is the final drill I consider a close range skill builder. It tests your draw, sight alignment, recoil control, ability to quickly change a magazine and then get back on target.   This drill is performed at 7 yards and consists of drawing and firing two rounds into an IPSC A zone or similar sized target, performing a mag change and then firing two more rounds at the target. As designed the gun does not go to slide lock during the mag change, but it is entirely acceptable to do so, just ensure you are consistent each time.

So there you have it, six drills that I have found work wonders within the 3-7 yard range. This list is not comprehensive and a quick search on the internet will reveal an overwhelming amount of drills. Frankly a great many of those drills are crap! The goal of this article was to give the new shooter, or any shooter looking to improve, a solid set of drills to start with. In the next article I’ll give some drills that build your skills at what I consider medium and long-range.

Pistol Drills – 3 to 7 Yards

As a follow on to my last article, Setting (and Tracking) Realistic Attainable Goals, I wanted to give some drills that will improve your pistol shooting with a target distance of 3 to 7 yards. Some of these will work at a stodgy square “bowling alley” range and others require a more permissive environment.

Bullseye Mode

This is the simplest and works at any range. The goal is to shoot the smallest group possible at any distance. For this drill I recommend cardboard because paper will have a tendency to tear out and make the group appear larger than it actually is. Start close and work your way back. I normally do a run of 6 rounds. You will not get fast with this drill; you need not draw from a holster. The goal is sight alignment, trigger press and breathing.

3 yards

If this is what your 3 yard group looks like, you need more practice!

This is the number 1 static range drill and everyone reading has probably done it, but I would suggest you try it again, but set a minimum time between shots. Say 10 seconds. That is enough time to bring the gun down, take a few breaths and aim again. You might find you are capable of better accuracy than you thought!

Dot-Torture Drill

This drill was created by David Blinder at personaldefensetraining.com and can be found here. The instructions are printed on the target, so I won’t waste our time repeating them here. With no time limit required this drill is good for a static range that doesn’t allow rapid fire. If you can’t draw from a holster, use low ready. Once you can clear it at 3 yards, move back to 5. This drill requires a decent understanding of sight alignment and trigger press fundamentals.

Garcia Dots (or The Dots)

This drill was created by Frank Garcia and is recommended by many USPSA shooters and trainers. It is often confused with Dot-Torture but the only similarity is the size of the dot. This drill uses six 2 inch dots arranged in two rows of three. You need a shot timer and you must set the par time to 5 seconds. Upon the beep you draw and shoot 6 rounds into a single dot. You then continue with each remaining dot using the same par-time. Your actual time is irrelevant as long as you can beat the par beep. The goal is all six shots either within or touching the 2 inch circle. The drill is a total of 36 shots and it is scored as misses/shots fired, or 30/36, if you had 6 misses.

The drill is designed for 7 yards, but you should start at 3 yards and work back. Consistently cleaning the drill at 7 yards is difficult for the best shooters, so don’t get discouraged.

You can mix it up and shoot some dots strong hand only, some weak hand only, etc. When modifying the drill I shoot it a few times and see what my average time is, and then I set the par for 0.5 seconds less.

In all honesty I shoot this drill virtually every time I go to the range as a means of warm up. I feel it is a much better training aid than the Dot-Torture, but with its draw and rapid fire requirements it is not usable at most static ranges and it is not for beginners.

Doubles

This is simple drill that helps build speed. It can be done at any distance, but for maximum speed training I use 3 yards. The drill is simple; you draw from concealment and put two shots into the target as quick as you can identify two sight pictures. This is NOT A DOUBLE TAP! A double tap is two shots with one sight picture and normally leads to one shot in the center of the target and the other in the upper region of the target.

It is worth mentioning that some people like to perform a similar drill but only shoot a single round. I have done that and found you can cheat your sight picture and get lucky. Shooting two shots requires you identify the sight picture with each trigger pull.

With this drill you see a flash of a sight picture, fire and the moment the sights are aligned you pull the trigger again. For a target I use a USPSA Metric target or a 6” x 10” box on a piece of printer paper.

My first attempt at this drill was in Ben Stoeger’s Fundamentals class and he made a joke about using a sun dial. Now, using my USPSA Production gear I can average a 1.05 on the drill with good center A-zone hits. From concealment my speed drops to around 1.5 or so, but that is a function of a concealed IWB draw. I promise I didn’t start off that quick – this drill works!

If your range won’t let you draw from a holster you can start at low ready and practice the draw in dry fire. You don’t get the full effect of grip and draw, but you still get the training on sight alignment at speed.

Bill Drill

What type of 7 yard drill list wouldn’t include the quintessential drill? The original Bill Drill, as told by Rob Leatham (go to 1:32 on this video to hear Rob talk about the creation of the drill) was to draw and fire 6 shots into a IPSC A zone as quick as you can get the hits. This drill works on the draw stroke, sight alignment, recoil control and trigger press. You must have all of the fundamentals squared away to accomplish this drill in less than 2.5 seconds. From concealment, using my S&W Shield, I generally run a 2.2 – 2.3. With my USPSA rig I get 2.00 flat. I have gone faster, but that is not the average.

This drill is really fun but there are some downsides; you must have a rather liberal ran to do this drill for one and this drill will eat ammo. 10 runs, which is my minimum for this drill, will eat 60 rounds. But what a way to burn ammo!

For more information here is Caleb explaining and shooting the Bill Drill.

Four Aces

This is the final drill I consider a close range skill builder. It tests your draw, sight alignment, recoil control, ability to quickly change a magazine and then get back on target.   This drill is performed at 7 yards and consists of drawing and firing two rounds into an IPSC A zone or similar sized target, performing a mag change and then firing two more rounds at the target. As designed the gun does not go to slide lock during the mag change, but it is entirely acceptable to do so, just ensure you are consistent each time.

So there you have it, six drills that I have found work wonders within the 3-7 yard range. This list is not comprehensive and a quick search on the internet will reveal an overwhelming amount of drills. Frankly a great many of those drills are crap! The goal of this article was to give the new shooter, or any shooter looking to improve, a solid set of drills to start with. In the next article I’ll give some drills that build your skills at what I consider medium and long-range.

Concealed carry buyer’s guide

Here’s an uncomfortable fact: a lot of gun stores are pretty terrible. The problem is that most gun stores are started up by gun people, not business people, which means that things like “customer service” frequently aren’t a priority. There are exceptions to this rule, and whenever I find them I make sure to patronize them. However, that’s not what we’re talking about today, because we live in the future. You see, you can actually buy a complete CCW set-up (except for the gun) off Amazon. So here’s how to do just that.

1. Holsters

IWB: OWB:

There are plenty of styles out there as well, so long as you carry a relatively common gun. If you’re rocking an M&P, a Glock, or a 1911 then you’re in luck. Safariland probably has a holster on Amazon for it. The model 27 is just about as generic an IWB holster as you can get, but it’s a much better choice than those awful nylon pieces of garbage. The ALS OWB holster is an absolute must-have if you plan on OC at any point. It’s a proven retention system that has saved people’s lives, and doesn’t really sacrifice a ton of speed. It’s also popular with 3-gun shooters because it offers excellent handgun retention during movement.

2. Belts

Tactical: Casual:

A lot of time belts get overlooked as a piece of carry gear. People often will throw their gun and holster on to whatever crappy wal-mart belt they have, and the results are predictably terrible. Above I have two solid options for carry, one is a Blackhawk rigger’s/instructor belt, which I have several examples of and have used extensively. It’s a good choice if you’re not concerned about looking “tactical,” as it supports all sorts of guns very well. The Galco option is what I’d recommend if you need to actually look like a grownup – assume you’re going to be seen with your shirt tucked in and don’t want people to think you’re some kind of a tactical hobo.

3. Ear protection

If you don’t need electronic ears and will primarily be shooting outdoors, get the Peltor Shotgunners. They’re great earpro, I have a pair that I’ve used for years.

The shotgunners will work on an indoor range as well, but I’d strongly recommend doubling up and using some foam plugs under the shotgunners to really make sure your ears are protected.

4. Eye protection

You’ll need two kinds of eye protection. I have sunglasses for outdoor, and clears for indoor/cloudy days of outdoor shooting. Here I’m just going to post what I use because it’s easy.

Boom. Get your eyepro.

Now you’ve got your holster, your belt, earpro and eyepro for the range. There are a lot of pieces of ancillary gear we could get into here as well like magazine pouches, range bags, we could have a really long discussion about which kind of eye protection is best. The goal of these buyer’s guides is to give new shooters/CCW permit holders/competition shooters the ability to “one stop shop” for the basics that they need to get started.

Setting (and Tracking) Realistic, Attainable Goals

As a shooter you might have watched some videos of other shooters and thought, “man that was fast, I could never do that.” I am here to say you can!  With this post I want to discuss goals, but from a different perspective than you might be used too. Whether you are only concerned with CCW, only competition, or both CCW and competition, we should all have realistic goals that each person reading this can work toward and attain. Goals allow you to judge yourself and your improvement against yourself and not just other shooters; this is a good thing.

Anyone that has listened to Dave Ramsey discuss his baby steps to get out of debt understands the concept. Realistic attainable goals keeps us motivated and excited. If we look at all of our debt at once it can be overwhelming, but if we start small and build momentum we stay focused and the task is less daunting. The same thing applies to weapons training. Someone that just learned to shoot last week should not have the immediate (or only) goal of competing on the same level as Max Michel or responding to a threat like Frank Proctor or Mike Pannone. Those might be your ultimate goals, but temper your enthusiasm with realism; depending on your skill, disposable income, and spare time you might gear there quickly, but it will still take steps and a plan.

We should judge ourselves, with in our own skill level, with different baselines that match our goals.  For instance, using distance to target as one example, we might have close range skills, medium range skills and long-range precision skills. I will elaborate on my range/skill parameters in a bit, but being fast and accurate at 3 yards does not automatically mean you will be fast an accurate at 25 yards.  You might be accurate at 25 yards doing sloooow fire, but that doesn’t equate to being fast at that distance.  Remember, everyone can be fast and miss at any distance.

In a nutshell, this is how I identify skill set weakness and set goals for practice, and in the future I will post some drills I use at each distance.  I try to choose drills, which reinforce skills, that are transferable between my CCW and my USPSA Production gear. The biggest difference between the two is the quickness of the draw from concealment and the need for a more refined sight picture with the shorter CCW weapon. But for this post, the actual drills aren’t important, the methodology is.  The concept of tracking and measuring improvement against yourself is the what I hope you take away from this post – the need for realistic goals.

I want to clarify something before moving on; I am not implying you need only work one skill set to perfection before moving on, but I do feel it is best to decide what your range practice session will entail and stick to one skill or goal set.  We can all agree that at times a trip to the range is for fun and noise, no practice or excuse needed; but when you set out to actually get better, make sure you are clear on what your range trip is for.

I mentioned different distances previously, so let’s break those down now while considering our pistol skills.

I believe the close range skill set is for distances of 7 yards or less. Some readers may find this appalling and they may consider that medium or even long-range. I understand! Once upon a time I considered 7 yards medium range, then I got training and shot my first match. Equally, if you say 7 yards is far away, it tells me two things; one, you need to practice more and two, you have never shot a competition – any competition. If you can’t keep slow fire 10 rounds into a 2 inch circle at 7 yards you need to work on fundamentals. That 10 inch group you just shot at 7 yards is pathetic! Quit getting positive reinforcement by comparing your group to other shooters that fling similar sized groups onto the target.

Yoda

Medium range skills, in my world, would be anything between 7 and 25 yards. For those bad at math, 15 yards is forty-five feet; and while that may sound like a long distance, what is the furthest shot you might have to take inside your house? Not just across a bedroom, but maybe out of one bedroom and down the hall into another room. 25-30 feet is possible, isn’t it? Now imagine that shot, in low light, while drowsy, and under stress? Suddenly the 15 yard shot, in broad daylight, while wide awake, and possibly wearing corrective lenses, seems easy. Competition shooting aside, if you can’t slow fire a full magazine’s worth of ammo and keep them on a humanoid silhouette target at 15 yards you are NOT a good shot. The truth hurts, sorry.

What about long-range? I view that as anything over 25 yards. The likelihood of needing to make that shot in self-defense is extremely low; but it still exist. With no time limit, can you draw your weapon and put one shot into a 8 inch pie plate at 25 yards? If you have the fundamentals down, your answer should be a resounding yes. If you shoot USPSA you are already familiar with the requirements you must meet to successfully make the 25 yard shot. What about 40 yards? 60 yards? I am not saying you will need to make a 60 yard shot to defend yourself – although you might.  I am saying people who can make the 60 yard shot with no time limit have a much greater chance of making that 7 yard shot under stress.

Time limits are the one thing I haven’t discussed. I am a big fan of a shot timer (no secret there) and I believe you should use it in all of your training outside of static slow fire sessions. You can use a timer to get some baseline numbers for common drills, and while you could compare the times with your peers or even your hero’s on the internet and YouTube, the real value is when you can go back and compare with yourself on previous runs.  It doesn’t matter if you can’t do a certain drill at the same speed as your training hero; it only matters that your times are dropping!

Tracking my skill development is why I keep a log book. With the proliferation of smart phones there is literally no reason you can’t open a notes app and write down your times for review later. If you shot some Bill drills, write down the best time and the average time. Alternately, you can use a written log book like I do. There are several available for purchase, but I made up my own in Microsoft Word and put together a binder.  The one unspoken benefit of the timer is for when you don’t train for extended periods of time.  You can go back and see how much skill you have lost and identify the low hanging fruit.

Like Dave Ramsey’s baby steps, setting realistic goals and then achieving them will help you track your improvements, and the realization of improvement is what keeps things interesting.

Lessons from a Robbery

NOTE: Turn your volume off when watching the video.  The version originally posted had no audio, but the YouTube version has some pointless noise.

This video was recently shared on Facebook by the American Warrior Society.  For those who do not know, the American Warrior Society is a website and podcast created by Mike Seeklander.  If you don’t know who Mike Seeklander is you owe it to yourself to look him up.

But Mike is not the subject today.  The video is.  It is very enlightening and a in-depth review can offer some insight into areas of training often overlooked.

What we start with is a man, standing in what appears to be a Subway Restaurant, with either his wallet or phone in his weak hand.  At approximately 8 seconds everyone we can see turns and focuses on something out of the view of the camera.  They seem to be in shock as two men enter with the clear intent to rob the establishment.  The events unfold from there.

The first thing you will notice is a person (we’ll call him suspect #1) walking up to the man at the counter (we’ll call him CCW holder) and blatantly grabbing the item(s) from his weak hand.  As this is happening the CCW holder moves his strong hand back to his weapon.  For the next few seconds of video we see the CCW holder continue to work towards a draw stroke – RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE SUSPECT!  He is blatantly telegraphing his movements, but the suspect is ignoring them.

Lesson 1: With his strong hand empty the CCW holders strong was able to quickly move to a draw position.

Lesson 2: Both suspects (suspect #2 is out of camera view) were seemingly oblivious to the  motions of the CCW holder.  Without interviewing the suspects we can only speculate on their thoughts.  Perhaps the suspects had a strong personal narrative of how the robbery would unfold and it blinded their judgement or, perhaps the thought of someone with a CCW intervening never crossed their mind.  Either way it is something we should be cognizant of, as a better criminal might be more aware of his victims actions and movements.

As we continue watching the footage we see the first suspect head behind the counter, at the same time we see suspect #2 walk over to the CCW holder and physically push him back.  The CCW holder appears to be extremely compliant as the suspect doesn’t seem to exert much force while controlling the situation.  Inexplicably suspect #2 does not notice the telegraphed, imminent draw stroke either!

Lesson 3: Compliance, even if momentary, can give the criminal a false sense of security.  It leads them to believe they have chosen their victim wisely.

The CCW holder draws his weapon and makes a point-blank range shot into the chest of suspect #2.  As suspect #2 is falling to the left (hopefully reflecting on his choices in life) the CCW holder drives the gun forward, toward suspect #1, who is now behind the counter.  Note the CCW holder is doing this strong hand only.  Suspect #1 immediately throws his hands up, surrenders and cowers in the corner – like the pathetic human being he is.  It is here we see the CCW holder grab a gun off the floor and disable it.   I have watched the video several times and I can’t tell if the gun came from suspect #2 when shot or suspect #1 when he withdrew.  Either way he takes his eyes off suspect #1 while retrieving the gun from the floor.  Thankfully suspect #1 didn’t try anything stupid while the CCW holder diverted his attention.

Lesson 4: STRONG HAND ONLY.  When did you last train strong hand only?  This video provides as good a reason as any.  Get out there and shoot strong hand only at the range!  While you’re there, practice some weak hand.  It is better to suck at the range than to fail miserably in a defensive situation.

Lesson 5: Be prepared for anything.  Suspect #1 immediately surrendered and was seemingly no longer a threat.  Have you ever thought of practicing the retrieval and disabling a suspects weapon?  Do you practice ways to keep awareness on all of the suspects as the situation unfolds?  The best situational awareness is easily defeated by auditory occlusion and tunnel vision.

Finally the CCW holder takes command of the environment and orders suspect #1 out from behind the counter and onto the ground, where he has better vision and control over him.   It is my hope I would have the awareness to direct the suspect away from the gun I just disabled, but it is easy to pass judgement from a computer screen.

As the events wind down we can see suspect #2 still withering in pain (good) on the floor.  We have no idea if he is quiet, moaning or even screaming.  The entire area might be rather loud if suspect #2 is screaming in pain while the store personnel are overcome with panic and terror.  If you ever have to draw and shoot someone you should be  prepared for extreme confusion and noise.

If we look at the video in detail it is easy to pick it apart and find errors.  In reality it is only 17 seconds between the actual drawing of the CCW holders weapon until he is standing on suspect #1.  While we can find some mistakes made by the CCW holder the fact is he excelled.  He only fired when necessary to stop the threat.  He remained relatively calm.  He found the solution to the problem as his world fell apart in 17 seconds.  Think about that.  In 17 seconds the CCW holder shot a suspect and apprehended a second.  That isn’t much time to think things through and I am sure that it was far from his mind while deciding between a cold cut combo and a meatball sub.  We must react quickly and properly.  We must be aware.  Full awareness of your surroundings 100% of the time is impossible, but partial awareness all of the time is more than the normal person has.  Even partial awareness can buy you time to react and change the outcome.  You must be aware of your surroundings and you must be ready to act.

Those serious about carrying a weapon and defending themselves should train themselves wisely.  I would also suggest you check out the American Warrior Society; Mike’s podcast is full of useful information.