Questions and Answers

Thank you everyone for the outpouring of support in the comments of the post about my caffeinated self-defense encounter.  I am truly and genuinely touched by your support and encouragement.

In the comments, there have been a lot of good, reasonable questions asked, and I want to do my best to answer those questions here where everyone can see them.  Most of the questions have centered around the same general topics, so hopefully by hitting the broad strokes I’ll be able to answer the big questions.  Here goes!

  • Why a .25 ACP and not something bigger?  The Beretta Jetfire (my everyday carry gun) has been riding in my pocket for a year and a half now.  It goes everywhere I go as long as it’s legal to carry a gun.  It’s light, doesn’t take up a lot of weight, and most importantly I can shoot it very well.  Which is why I don’t carry a Kel-Tec .32 or a Ruger LCP in .380 – the triggers on those guns are horrid and mushy, and I just don’t shoot them as well as I shoot the .25.  Out of a 2 inch barrel, we’re not exactly talking “hammer of Thor” ballistics for any of those rounds, so I’d rather carry the gun that I can get lead on target fastest.
  • What kind of pocket holster do you use? – A very basic Blackhawk nylon pocket holster.  It’s been in my pocket as long as the Jetfire.  I use a pocket holster for the .25 primarily because it keeps the gun oriented correctly in the pocket, with the butt of the gun facing up like it should.
  • Do you practice with it? – Most certainly.  I shoot the Jetfire once or twice a month, but my usual practice with the gun is dry fire practice coming from the holster.  In practice I usually hit about 2.00-2.5 seconds on the draw with my hands starting outside of the pocket.  I would imagine that was about where I was on Saturday for my draw time as well; it just felt ridiculously slow due to the effects of adrenaline dump and time dilation.
  • What about the coffee? – It was in a standard Starbucks cup with the lid on.  I did hit him with the coffee, and I assume the lid came off when the cup hit him.  I don’t know this for a fact, but can infer it from the fact that after the event, the cup and the lid were both on the ground in separate locations.
  • What did you see? – Well, to be honest I don’t remember seeing all that much.  It’s sort of like my memory is a slide show: I remember seeing the knife, then I remember seeing my gun in the middle of the “A” in Indiana (yes, he was wearing a Hoosiers’ sweatshirt, that I remember) and the next thing I remember is him running.
  • Why didn’t you shoot?  That’s the most complicated question, and it’s something I’ve been mulling over myself.  My previous experiences with situations like this have primarily been in uniform, so as a civilian there’s a different calculation going on.  Based on input from others and prior experiences, the best guess as to why I didn’t shoot is that I perceived my assailant dropping his weapon and turning to flee, even though I don’t remember seeing it or hearing the weapon hit the deck.  That perception was enough to halt the “SQUEEZE TRIGGER” impulse.
  • How long did it take?  I have no idea.  Best guess from start to finish is 5, maybe 10 seconds.  It certainly felt like an eternity.
  • Will you be switching carry methods? – No, I plan on sticking with the Jetfire.  Did I wish for a bigger gun in an easier to access holster?  Yes, but not until after the event.  But since I can’t carry a bigger gun in an easier to access holster at the office, the Jetfire will continue to ride shotgun.

I hope I’ve been able to answer the burning questions about this – again, I am tremendously touched by the flood of comments and emails offering support.  As readers go, you guys are really a great bunch, and I’m proud that the firearms community is so willing to offer support and reinforcement.  You guys are great, seriously.


  1. Why not somthing like a Kahr PM9? Should be about on par with the Jetfire as far as size and weight, but in 9×19 (which you carry anyway, and is cheaper than .25 Auto) and the triggers are awesome on them.

    Just sayin’.

    Thanks for all the info!

  2. Weerd, that’s mostly because I’m gay for Berettas. I’ve had it for almost two years now, and it’s served me well in that time. What’s the sense in changing to a new action system with a new manual of arms?

  3. a good reason.

    In the end this boils down personal preference, and as your little fiasco shows, you indeed “brought enough gun”

    Still as the proud owner of a Colt 1908 .25 (I’m gay for JMB!) I really don’t want to trust half-a-dozen .25 pills going snail-slow from the muzzle of my little colt when the world goes pear-shaped.

    If my state didn’t suck balls I’d prefer to go all .45 ACP all the time with a Kahr PM45 and a S&W1911Sc (I’ll note that besides the Kahr’s size and its lack of manually actuated safeties the manual of arms is identical to those two guns) But given that my state does indeed suck and hate me, it’s a S&W J-frame .38 on my pocket-carry days.

    If it works for you, that’s awesome. Just personally I prefer a bit more than a .25 in my pocket, and I think some concessions in the realm of size, weight (tho that isn’t as much of an issue) and even capacity and cost, is worth it to tuck a little more gun in my pocket.

    Certainly the DAY the Mass Approved Firearms Roster Expires I will go out and get that damned PM45 and I’ll be stuffing it in my pocket as soon as it’s properly broken in.

  4. Was it Starbuck’s Tactical Blend?

    Sadly, I’ve thought about my coffee delivery technique and, if I can recall the fine motor control needed, I try to give the cup a squeeze to ensure proper cup/lid seperation.

    I, too, have become guilty of mousegun carry. The new job makes it impossible to carry the .45 (I’m gay for the .45 auto) as I would have to unholster the gun, lock up, then literally unholster every day (gov’t work, whee!).

    I do, however, need a better pocket holster.

  5. (yes, he was wearing a Hoosiers’ sweatshirt, that I remember)

    You know, if we only had reasonable restrictions on Midwesterners this wouldn’t have happened.

  6. Also BOLO for a Beretta Alley Cat. My friend had one. Good shooter, I don’t even hold a grudge from the scars it left in the web of my hand.

  7. It’s lucky you’ve been training in the “train-like-you-fight-and-fight-like-you-train” school. If you’d been training Old School, you probably would have been looking for a place to set your coffee down before you drew.

  8. j t – when I get my druthers about what I carry, I carry a 325 Nightguard in a Don Hume holster, or a commander sized 1911 in a Safariland.

  9. Loved your last bullet (statement).

    After verifying your system works, changing anything about your carry piece/method would be lunacy.

  10. I was in a physical altercation once. It didn’t involve a firearm, and it was honestly pretty one-sided because the other guy was drunk and not very coordinated (but I didn’t know that until after I started defending myself, so I still think my actions were justified).

    Like you, I don’t have a continuous memory of the actual fight, just a series of slide-show images. I remember the guy’s eyes, lit up by my tac-light as I blinked it at him. Then I remember feeling and seeing my palm against his face as I pushed it back. Then I saw and felt my foot sink into his stomach as I front-kicked him. Then contiguous time started again as he backed away.

    Except for the flashlight, which I had ready to use because 1) it was night-time and we were on a dark country road, and 2) he had been getting belligerent, and I thought he might try something, I don’t remember consciously choosing any of my other actions. I had no idea what was going to happen after the flashlight. It was just like a switch flipped in my head and I said, “It’s go time,” and then my training took over. When your wife, or anybody else, asks, “Why the coffee?!” You can make a rationalization of that decision, and on some level, it might even be true, but in the moment, your conscious brain was probably not running your body, and any intellectual explanation for what happened is only a metaphor for the decisions that your reptile-brain made while trying to keep you alive.

    I told my martial-arts teacher about the incident, because it is the first time in my six years of jiu-jitsu training that I’ve ever actually had to use it. He jokingly said, “You front kicked him?! You? Mr. Jiu-jitsu? Ugh. Front kick is like the worst kick, and still, every fight I’m in, out comes the front kick.”

  11. Of course now you know you need to test various coffee cups to find which provides the best patterns and at what ranges.

  12. I have a few questions being pretty new to this whole ‘Coffee Defense Culture Mindset’.

    What size serving do you recommend for HD?

    If I CCC (concealed carry coffee) should I also carry a Starbucks ‘Short, 8oz’ as a BUC?

    If I CCC, how do I keep the cup from printing? I’m thinking crotch carry….is this stupid?

    I tried tactical refills but I keep pouring the coffee all over the table, should I have a Barista custom funnel the lip?

    Should the lid be blueprinted and custom fitted tight or kept slightly loose?

    So is everyone now going to worship at the alter of Juan Valdez?

    Who makes the better hot cup? Solo or Dixie?

    “GRAWN-day Mf !!!!

    ______________ I found some quotes ___________

    “Your coffee cup is something you can use to fight your way to your thermos, which you should not have left in the first place. … Clint Cooper or Jeff Smith.

    “Never forget, even for an instant, that the one and only reason anybody has for taking your coffee away is to make you weaker than he is, so he can do something to you that you wouldn’t let him do if you were equipped to prevent it. This goes for employers, teachers, and parents, and even more so for policemen, bureaucrats, and politicians.” — from the novel Cope

    “It has often been said there are no rules in a coffee fight. Not true! The first rule of coffee fighting is ‘have a coffee’. If you do not have a coffee, do not come to a coffee fight. Just having a coffee on your person when you need it is 90% of the fight. Everything else -Beverage size, caloric count, lightened or sweetened, decaf or regular – is way back in second place. Have a coffee.” — HOWARD SCHULTZ, founder of Starbucks

    “A free people ought . . . to be caffinated . . .” – George Washington

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