Had a Basic Pistol 2 and Defensive Long Gun: Essentials class this past Saturday. Classes were mostly full, some no-shows for some reason. And we were down one assistant instructor due to sudden illness. But apart from the oppressive heat, everything went pretty well.
Basic Pistol 2 was like most, with students getting used to the notion of shooting “faster”. But it’s not just actually going faster, but learning to be more efficient and simultaneous in our actions (see here). It’s a paradigm shift for sure, but an important one.
Another fun thing that came up was grip. And in short, grip harder. Whatever you’re doing with your grip, grip harder. And yes, it will be a workout, and yes you will get tired. Still, grip harder. Get stronger, build the endurance. It will only help. And those grippers? Captains of Crush.
This was the first DLG-E I helped with. I’ve been wanting to be a part of that class for some time, but schedule just hasn’t worked out. I like working with the shotgun folk because they don’t get a lot of love. 🙂 Plus, I like bringing out my “grandpa gun” — all those black guns, and there’s my wood-stocked gun. 🙂 A few reminders for folks there.
First, for everyone, if you can make your stock shorter, try that. We get comfortable with longer stocks and a shorter stock thus a shorter length-of-pull feels weird. And yes, too short and you might end up kissing the gun. But try just going a notch or two shorter and see what it does for you. The issue here is going from something like the high ready to shouldering the gun. If you have to push the gun out then pull it back into your shoulder, that’s wasted movement, that’s inefficient. You should be able to hold the gun in the high-ready position, then just snap it up into your shoulder. A short stock helps with that. So if your stock is adjustable, try shortening it and see what that does for you. Go as short as you can and find how short you can get it before it becomes a problem (e.g. you end up kissing the gun). Plus, a shorter overall gun length helps maneuverability, manipulations, etc., which can matter more inside a building (house) than outside where walls don’t get in your way.
This is one reason I like my wood-stock shotgun: was able to saw and size it precisely to fit me. I’ve bought the synthetic shorter stocks, and they are still either too long or too short.
Second, for pump-shotgun folks, remember that the firing sequence is the “Tom Givens Waltz”: boom-chunk-chunk. You fire, then you must rack it, and THEN you are done with that shot and ready for the next. It’s not boom… and now wait, then chunk-chunk and boom. Be ready to go.
So on that note, third, when reloading, keep the gun loaded and ready to go. If there isn’t one in the chamber, getting one in the chamber is your first order of business. Then keep the gun in a firing position (e.g. holding/supporting with your firing hand), and feed the magazine from there. The point is, in a gunfight you don’t really have control over when you will need to “go”, so you need to keep the gun running and ready as much as possible. If nothing is in the chamber, you’re behind the curve. Get something in there first and be ready, because then you’ve at least got 1. Then if you keep the gun in a ready “firing” position, it’s not as much of a fumble and fiddle to get back into the fight, even if the gun gets only partially reloaded. You just have to remember we’re working with a limited-capacity firearm and one that’s slower to reload (vs. something magazine fed), so it’s important to keep it fed and running at all times.
Classes overall ran well. Good group of students. Only downside was the oppressive heat. Such is Texas in the middle of August. 🙂