How much confidence do you have in your firearm that it will work EVERY time? We know at Active Self Protection that training trumps gear, but we also know that a reliable firearm is an important part of winning the fight when it starts!
Original video of the officer’s firearm malfunctioning again and again: https://get-asp.com/16ry
What does this video shooting teach us about knowing our firearm well and knowing how malfunctions work?
- You must know your firearm, how it functions, and how you’ll respond with it in the moment of need. Pressure testing your firearm manipulations in force on force and other training classes is critical because you need to know that you can get your firearm in the fight and keep it in the fight! If your habits will inadvertently drop the magazine or your grip will cause the slide not to lock back on empty or other induce other malfunctions, you do NOT want to find that out when the balloon goes up.
- 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 of firearm safety or the NRA’s three rules for safe firearm handling (I have a discussion of my preference here: https://get-asp.com/cfgf 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 firearm, so make sure to train and practice so that you take responsible shots in the moment of need.
- The rules of firearm safety apply whether you’re training or fighting for your life. One of the most difficult to follow in a real life gunfight is Colonel Cooper’s Rule #4: be sure of your target and what lies beyond it. It is exceedingly difficult to do, but self-defenders must stay aware of what is behind their threat so that they take minimal risks to innocents when defending themselves.
- Keep your firearm ready to fire. Some people carry their firearm with an empty chamber, but doing so is not recommended for several reasons. First, it assumes that you will have both hands available to you to draw your firearm, which isn’t necessarily the case. You might have a hand engaged or injured. Secondly, it assumes that you’ll have time to chamber a round in a gunfight, but gunfights are won and lost on tenths of seconds. Third, it assumes that you’ll have the dexterity to chamber a round under duress, though in the moment many times I have seen people fumble their chambering attempt. Finally, it assumes that everything will work correctly when it comes time to chamber your firearm, which as we see here isn’t always guaranteed. Keep your defensive firearm ready to fire, with a round in the chamber!
- In a gunfight, movement is your friend. You must be ready not only to draw and fire, but to draw your firearm and fire while moving laterally, back, and diagonally. You simply will not stand still in a gunfight because it is against every instinct you have when in mortal danger! People who focus too much on stance or Isosceles vs. Weaver forget this fact, but as self-defenders we must know that we will be moving. So practice and train movement on the draw and fire. This is a great reason to have airsoft trainers and practice draw and move in your dry-fire regimen as well.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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