Officer Hits Himself in Hand While Engaging Charging Suspect

A gunfight is chaotic and stressful, which is what we see in this officer body cam for sure. It’s another reason to train your firearm safety skills to the point of unconscious competence!



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Significant details on Officer Braun and the incident from local news:


What does this officer teach us about firearms safety in a gunfight?


  1. It is critical to know not only how to shoot from the “press out” position, but also from high compressed ready and from retention. Being able to shoot from a high compressed ready as well as from retention are vital skills for all self-defenders to have, because drawing the firearm and using it when there is a threat within arms-length means not pressing it out to use it effectively. You must have the ability to use it in close quarters without endangering your firearm.


  1. The rules of firearm safety apply in a gunfight, just like they do on the range or in your home. Whether you prefer to articulate them as Colonel Cooper’s four rules or the NRA’s three rules (I have a discussion of my preference here: if you want to read it), you must have the presence of mind to keep your firearm pointed in the appropriate direction and only fire when you will not hit an innocent. You are morally and legally responsible for the rounds that leave your gun, so make sure to train and practice so that you take responsible shots in the moment of need.


  1. One of the significant dangers in using your defensive firearm is to your support hand. This is usually only in play in a very close-range defensive shooting, say 6 feet or less. What we see happen on video regularly is that if a threat closes within about 2 arms lengths rapidly, the natural tendency is to release the support hand from the pistol and use it as a barrier to the attacker getting too close. The danger there is in floating the support hand out in front of the muzzle and shooting yourself! In training, that means we must drill and drill and drill the thumb pectoral index which minimizes the risk to the support hand, as well as drilling keeping the support hand close to ward off blows while using the firearm in defense.


  1. It’s not easy to drop what’s already in your hands to put both hands on the gun. In the moment of a gunfight there’s a tendency to keep whatever is in your hand where it is and shoot one-handed, though of course two-handed shooting is faster and more accurate. It’s worth it to train with something in your hand or hands that you have to drop to get your gun, just to be in the habit of dropping it when the need arises! It’s also a smart idea, if possible, to have a light on your firearm (I use this one: if you’re interested) so that when the gun comes out you have a bright light to illuminate your target while keeping both hands on the gun.


  1. It takes great training to do successfully, but it’s worth noting that moving backwards should be our least preferred method of gaining distance in a gunfight. When you’re moving backward with a threat in front of you it is very easy to hit an obstacle and lose your footing, which allows the threat to close the distance while you’re off balance. If possible, move diagonally or laterally to get “off the line” of attack and still engage the threat with your firearm.


There are 3 additional lessons for Patron Members and 3 class starters for Instructors from this video, so please join us in those programs to see them!


Attitude. Skills. Plan.


(music in the outro courtesy of Bensound at




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