What do you recommend for… a gentle disagreement

Dr. House tackles the subject of “What do you recommend for…”

In short:

In a simple sentence, I don’t.

I can’t, in all honesty and truth, prescribe anything guaranteed to fix your problems. What, “you,” need for self-defense, in terms of guns, holsters, sights, etc., isn’t like I am giving you a treatment plan to treat a specific medical condition you have. I can’t diagnose you…

Nobody else can tell you what is best for you, either. It requires experimentation. What some people recommend for others to use, or warn them against using, is frankly quite silly. It makes no sense. Me, dictating to you what to use is as idiotic as recommending you wear a certain type of eyeglasses, with MY prescription in it. Sure, it might work for you, but it probably won’t!

On the whole, I agree with him. We cannot tell you exactly what will work for you. This is because your situation and specifics will be different, and it’s quite true that what works for one may not work for another.

But where I differ from Dr. House is that this just can’t be done.

We are not special snowflakes. The simple reason much of human existence works is precisely because while we’re all different in the specific, we’re all the same in the general. We generally walk on 2 legs, have 2 arms and hands, 2 eyes, our eyesight and hearing and other senses work the same basic way, our body mechanics work generally the same. Yes there are exceptions, but they are just that and not the rule. This is why we can design cars with ergonomics of the seat style, steering wheel location, pedals, controls, where and how we do. This is why we can design “off the rack” clothing, which while it may not be as ideal a fit as a custom tailored suit, it works well enough to get us by in our lives.

So can I tell you what is best for you? No, but I sure can give you a lot of good guidelines to get you close (enough) and further down the road.

Sometimes it may just be my own experience. For example, my recent experience with the Ergo Delta Grip. I think in part it may be my own problem, because of the level of discomfort I personally felt in my hand. You may not feel this same discomfort due to the nature of your hands, or a higher tolerance for pain. But objectively we cannot deny the shape of the backstrap being more pointed and thus it will direct more of the force into a single point in the palm instead of a wider backstrap dissipating the force. So we can still give general guidance here.

After years of teaching and thousands of students, you start to see patterns of what works and what doesn’t work. You start to see that guns like Glocks and M&P’s run pretty reliably and students in general have less trouble and struggle running those guns. When people bring cheap guns, weird guns, DA/SA guns, guns that are too much for them to handle (e.g. frail older woman with small hands trying to shoot a Sig P226 in .40 S&W just doesn’t end well), well… we know how the story will end – usually – and we also know how we can redirect the situation towards a more successful, fruitful, and satisfying end (e.g. give them a Glock 19). This doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions, but again, they are exceptions.

Maybe I’m just reading Dr. House’s writing the wrong way, because I do think we’re more in agreement than disagreement (thus my “gentle” disagreement). I think he’s right when he writes:

Next time someone tells you that carrying a pistol with a manual safety (like a SHIELD) or a DA/SA semiautomatic pistol will, “get you killed,” it might be wise to take everything they continue to say with an even BIGGER grain of salt. NO PIECE OF EQUIPMENT will replace skill…regardless of what the equipment may be. You can defend yourself with anything, under any condition, with preparation. PERIOD.

Because in a case like that, it’s a matter of being able to back up your recommendations with concrete and factual evidence, not Internet jackassery or gun store bravado. For example, I can back up the above example of the P226 by talking about gun fit, how the P226 is a poor fit for someone with small hands, which requires holding the gun in an awkward manner that provides sub-optimal control over the gun, recoils over the thumb knuckle (ouch!), a long heavy trigger is difficult for them to press due to strength and leverage issues, then the snappy recoil of a .40 S&W adds to the mix; then replacing with a Glock 19 (probably a Gen4 with the small backstrap) allows for a better fit, the trigger is of lighter pull-weight which their level of strength and leverages can more easily work, the milder recoil of the 9mm doesn’t present as much of a problem for their level, and so on. Can the assertion be backed up by proper reasoning?

So no, we cannot tell you exactly what formula will result in the ideal solution for you. However, it is possible to start you down a path with good footing and a solid start. You will need to experiment, you will need to discover precisely what works for you, but we can help you on your way.

 

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