Sunday, May 16, 2021

YOU ONLY HAVE TO GO UNARMED ONCE

Inspector Ricky J. Parisian

Not long ago my wife asked me to go to the store for some item. She noticed me take my S&W J-Frame .38 Special out of my pocket and begin putting on my SIG P320. She asked "Do you think you will need that at the store?”

I said of course not. If I actually thought I would need a firearm at the store I either wouldn’t go at all or I would take a rifle. A pistol is for an unexpected, lethal threat that you have to address right that moment. It is not the proper tool for a foreseeable fight. 

It does not matter how many firearms you have at home if you find yourself in a gunfight and didn't bring a gun--you may well die for the oversight. This is an example via Duane Thomas and Tom Givens:

From Jay Hohenhaus, 1994:  My neighbor Ricky J. Parisian was a NY State Trooper who worked with an organized crime task force in White Plains, NY. He was never unarmed on-duty.

However, he was unarmed when he was home in rural Oneonta, NY.  Rick made a habit of not carrying off-duty telling me that the New York State Police discouraged it.

One day Rick went to the grocery store to get chicken for a BBQ and a robber with a sawed-off, single-shot shotgun killed him.

YOU ONLY HAVE TO GO UNARMED ONCE FOR IT TO CATCH UP WITH YOU

He went to the grocery store on the Wrong Day, without his Smith & Wesson 9mm. A disgruntled ex-employee came in with a sawed-off, single-shot .410 shotgun to rob the store. This bothered Rick and he attacked the robber--UNARMED. The gun discharged during the struggle, killing Rick instantly.

Rick’s Tom Campbell-tuned S&W 469 was home in his sock drawer. He had never heard the mindset lecture and interpreted what came down from his leadership as discouraging off-duty carry. The New York State Police DID put on a nice funeral for him.

YOU ONLY HAVE TO GO UNARMED ONCE FOR IT TO CATCH UP WITH YOU

Note: I edited the story above for clarity.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Low Light: Using a Laser on Your Carry Pistol

A Low Light Competitor

During the Sensible Self Defense Low Light Match in April 2021, I experimented the Lima Laser module (with a green laser) that I have on my everyday carry (EDC) SIG P320. There was a full moon so there was sufficient moonlight to identify all of the targets without a hand held light. For the experiment, I wanted to see if I could use the laser system in low light as effectively as I could the red dot sight during daylight.

The match format was four stages, run twice with a total round count of 82 rounds assuming no misses. We ran all of the stages once during daylight, then ran the stages once again after the sun set. Two stages were home defense scenarios based on actual events that required movement and shooting from cover and two were standards stages, one focusing on running the gun skills and one focusing on reloading.

The experiment showed that yes, the laser system in low light was as effective as the red dot sight during daylight. The total time difference between my pistol daylight runs using the red dot and my low light runs with the laser was 0.29 seconds for the entire match. For this match at least, I ran the pistol with the laser as well during low light as I did during daylight.

Although I used the SIG P320 Lima system, I believe any laser sighting system with a grip switch would have worked equally well (see picture below).

SIG P320 Compact with Lima Laser Module

In a recent class I attended, master instructor Tom Givens of Range Master somewhat downplayed the need to practice under low light conditions stating that you are rarely in total darkness. That may be true for those who live in crowded urban areas or apartment complexes and is certainly true for most commercial parking lots. However, even though I live in San Antonio, Texas, in my neighborhood you can easily find yourself effectively in the dark when outside if there is no full moon. As a result, I find value in practicing under low light conditions. 

The SIG Lima Laser module provides another tool to help you effectively use your pistol to defend yourself and other innocents. A P320 with the red dot, iron sights, and the Lima module provides you with three independent sighting systems. Add a hand-held flashlight and you have the tools to address any lighting conditions you may reasonably encounter in a defensive situation.

Depending upon which study you believe, somewhere between 60 and 85 percent of all police officer-involved shootings occur during the hours of darkness. Although no such data exists concerning private citizen-involved shootings with criminals, since a lot of criminal activity occurs in low light conditions we can assume that there is a likely correlation.

The Sensible Self Defense Low Light Match provides shooters the opportunity to test their low light skills in a variety of scenarios. We will continue these matches later in the fall of 2021 once daylight savings time ends. If you find yourself in San Antonio, we welcome all safe and responsible shooters and would enjoy having you participate.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

A Low Light Match With Home Defense Guns

Shotgun in a Home Invasion Scenario
The April 2021
Sensible Self Defense Low Light Match provided an opportunity for all participants to practice their low light skills. Although we had a modest turnout, everyone had a great time and learned a few things as well. This match’s theme was home defense and I encouraged shooters to use their everyday carry or home defense firearms.

This match permitted shotguns, pistols, and pistol caliber carbines (PCC). We had six shotgun shooters, eight shooting pistols, and two shooting PCCs. The match format was four stages, run two times with a total round count of 82 rounds assuming no misses. Two stages were home defense scenarios based on actual events that required movement and shooting from cover and two were standards stages, one focusing on running the gun skills and one focusing on reloading.

All shooters shot the match during daylight, then everyone shot the match once again in low light after the sun set with both scores added to produce the final score for each shooter. The fastest overall time went to the PCC with a score of 62.69, then the pistol with a score of 85.53, and then the shotgun with a score of 93.30. There was a bright, full moon so there was some ambient light for the match's low light portion.

Three of the six participants who were shooting shotguns had some sort of serious issue with their shotgun on at least one stage. All stated that they used their shotgun as their primary home defense firearm and those who had issues admitted that they rarely practiced with it. The match once again drove home the realization of just how powerful the shotgun is in trained hands and just how easy it is to fumble the manual of arms without consistent practice—particularly under low light conditions.

The shotgun’s primary weakness is the number of rounds the weapon holds. Realistically from a home defense perspective, although admittedly possible, it is unlikely  that home invaders will stand and slug it out with a shotgun-armed home owner. Five or six buckshot rounds will probably solve a home invasion problem rendering a speed reload unlikely. If faced with multiple home invaders who do chose to slug it out, the competent defender should load via the “shoot one – load one” technique using proper cover and movement as necessary if there is a lull in the proceedings.

Of course, in competition we are on the timer. This adds pressure to use specialized competition shotguns, specialized ammunition carriers, or other devices that may not be present on the gun (nor practical) if you must use the shotgun to repel boarders entering your home. For me, the “not present” issue is of concern. I want to train and compete with the same equipment I will have in a fight. Therefore, in shotgun matches I keep the gun in the same configuration as I have it in my home. Although I cannot load as quickly as another competitor who is using specialized equipment, I am practicing with my go to gun.

Even so, I was satisfied with my match performance, placing second with the shotgun and winning one of the stages with the fastest time. The stage in question was a standards stage that required no movement nor reloading. It simply measured your ability to run the gun. 

Steve won the shotgun division with a time of 93.30.  Steve was consistent with his daylight versus low light shotgun stage runs with a time difference of 1.98 seconds. The time difference between my shotgun daylight runs and my shotgun low light runs was 2.99 seconds. Click here for the video.

I find value in practicing under low light conditions. The Sensible Self Defense Low Light Match provides shooters the opportunity to test their low light skills in a variety of scenarios.

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Come out and shoot with us on the second Sunday of every month at Cedar Ridge Range in San Antonio, Texas.

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