Minimum Competency for Defensive Pistol – Is this minimal?

It seems we have expanded our criteria:

  • multiple hits
  • in a small area
  • from close range
  • quickly
  • drawing from concealment

To see what else might be necessary, we can also look at video. Hooray for video! Hooray for dashcams, security cameras, everyone having a phone with a camera, and then a willingness to share all of this on video websites like YouTube. You can see a lot of what really goes on.

One thing that happens often? Hands. Shooting with two hands, shooting with one hand. There’s no question you should try to shoot with both hands. Why? You’re faster. This goes back to “quickly”, and shooting slower is the opposite of “quickly”. That said, the reality of life is your situation may require you to shoot one-handed — and perhaps with your weak hand. You may have something in your hands that you cannot drop: like a child. Or another reality is, sometimes you just start shooting with one hand. I’ve seen it, I’ve done it — we know better, but yet something happens in the head and you just start shooting one-handed. It’s good to know how to do it.

At this point, a drill like KR Training’s 3 Seconds Or Less Drill starts to come into play. This drill was intentionally designed around the the “3 shots, 3 yards, 3 seconds” typical gunfight. It works on multiple hits, in a small area, from close range, quickly, drawing from concealment, two- and one-handed shooting.

The drill also adds in another aspect: movement. Do we need to move in a self-defense situation? You betcha. Karl often asks, “is it better to shoot, or not get shot?” not get shot. Some like to phrase it that incoming bullets have the right of way. Thankfully since bullets only travel in a straight line (well ok, an arc, and there’s wind, but go with me here, this isn’t Wanted), a simple but large enough side-step is important. It “gets you off the ‘X'”, it causes the assailant to reset their OODA loop, and well… movement is going to happen.

That’s the thing. Movement is going to happen, or at least, it should. Generally, something happens and people scatter, running away from the source of trouble. This of course is a good thing (distance yourself from the problem). However, it’s really either move or shoot, not shoot on the move. Paul Howe pretty much says to do one or the other:

shooting on the move, it’s a skill all shooters aspire to learn and spend a great deal of time and effort trying to master. I’ve never had to use it in combat. When moving at a careful hurry, I stopped, planted and made my shots. When the bullets were flying, I was sprinting from cover to cover, moving too fast to shoot. I didn t find an in-between. If I slowed down enough to make a solid hit when under fire, I was an easy target, so I elected not to.

As for shooting and closing on a target, it only makes the bad guys accuracy better and walking into a muzzle may help you to test your new vest sooner than you wanted to. Diagonal movement works, but again if you have to slow down too much, you re an easy target, and are generally in the open. Speed can act as your security in this case to get you to a point of cover.

Training to “shoot on the move” with a Groucho Marx walk? Well, nice skill, but is it really important within our context? Howe’s case was military, and if he doesn’t need it there, would we really need it in the “3 seconds” of a private citizen self-defense incident? A little movement, like a quick and decisive (and far enough) side-step on the draw is good. Much more than that? Not really needed.

So now we’re starting to find things we don’t need.

Are there other things we don’t need, in terms of minimum competency?

(This post is part of a multi-part series. For now, you can find other published parts of the series by looking at the “minimum competency” tag or category).

One thought on “Minimum Competency for Defensive Pistol – Is this minimal?

  1. Pingback: Minimum Competency for Defensive Pistol | Stuff From Hsoi

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