Minimum Competency for Defensive Pistol – Do we have a definition?

Maybe, maybe not – I’m sure there will be folks who take issue with what I’ve written. It seems when we look at what unfolds in a typical incident and what needs to be done to handle that typical incident, you get:

  • drawing from concealment
    • And perhaps moving on that draw (like a side-step then stop; not shoot-and-move)
  • getting multiple hits
  • in a small area
    • 5″ circle? 6″ circle? 8″ circle? consider human anatomy
  • from close range
    • Within a car length, so say 0-5 yards
  • quickly
    • 3 seconds or less
  • using both hands, or maybe one hand (or the other)

In his email to me, Tom Givens said of this:

If I had to list the prime skills for concealed carry, the list might be
presentation from concealed carry
shoot with 2 hands
shoot with 1 hand, both dominant and non-dominant
reload, slide forward and empty gun
fix simple malfunctions like failure to eject, TRB.

Everything beyond that is certainly good to know, but unlikely to be used by typical CCW.

When I asked Karl Rehn, his answer is what I expected:

[My] 3 seconds or less [drill] is my answer to that question.

All in all, the same set of minimal skills are being presented.

So what you need is the ability to do the above – at bare minimum. If you cannot do the above, you’ve got work to do. If you cannot do the above, there is no shame in that, if you use it as motivation to get better. However, there is shame in letting your ego continue to lie to you.

Remember that I am working to establish a minimum.

Let me restate the problem: Private citizens being the unfortunate victim of a violent crime. The choice to use a handgun as a tool to contend with their immediate victimization. To use the tool with some measure of effectiveness, one needs some modicum of skill with that tool. And, that you should have a realistic assessment of your skill with that tool, instead of a false impression.

We have to look at what really happens in a violent crime. No, nothing will be perfect, nothing will be absolute, but we can see enough of a pattern if we look at enough crimes, we can then formulate a solution for dealing with it. This is like solving any problem.

That you can plink tin cans in the back pasture is a false sense. That you can pass the TX CHL test is a false sense. You need to be able to draw the handgun from concealment and get multiple fast, accurate hits on a small target within a reasonable distance. You need to be able to do this with both hands, and one hand (each hand). This is the bare minimum.

Tests like Gila Hayes’, the TX CHL, those are good starts but sub-minimal. If you cannot do these, seek further instruction and practice. Tests like “3 Seconds or Less” are a good standard for bare minimum. It might look easy on paper, but I’ve been through more than enough classes where students struggle — yes, more practice is needed. Even a test like the FBI Qualification can be considered a good minimum (can you clean stage I and stage II? maybe stage III without the reload, and stage IV?).

Where do you go from here?

(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 – Do we have a definition?

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

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