Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Gun Retention

Nobody wants to be shot with their own gun. This happens to police officers on occasion because their weapon is open carried. They are taught gun retention all the time. Carrying concealed is a little different. Here are some weapon retention tips.
Be aware (situational awareness)
This is very important for so many reasons. I constantly preach being aware of what is going on around you. What is coming up? Can you go the other way? Do you see trouble brewing in front of you or to your side? Then leave. Even if you just have a feeling, follow that feeling.
Keep your weapon concealed. If no one knows you have a gun, how can they take it?
Keep distance
Distance can be your friend. In most situations you have control over your distance to others. But if you are in a crowd you may have to use other tactics. Depending on where you carry determines how you would get close to people.
Recognize pre-attack signs
Another aspect of awareness is reading the attackers intentions. Oftentimes, an assailant will telegraph his intentions to attack you or to try to disarm you prior to the actual attack.
Pay attention to your focus person and look for behaviors such as:
Movements too close the distance between you and him,
Movements to the side of your CC firearm,
Other body signals that suggest imminent fight or flight (shuffling feet, shoulder shifts, clenching fists, etc.).
If you see someone exhibiting these signs, address them as an imminent threat using whichever options are reasonable at that time.
Retention holsters
Your holster should have some type of retention system in place. If you fear your gun could fall out of its holster, change to a different holster or add a retention strap or other type of system. Test your holster by bending down, leaning, and running. Also remember that when you use a public restroom that you don’t lose your gun.
Retention holsters require additional training for unconscious competency. In other words, you need to spend time learning the holster so you can draw smoothly under pressure.
If you have a firearm for self-defense or you carry one on the job, you owe it to yourself to practice good gun retention. Be alert of your surrounds and who you are dealing with. Get good training and practice it. If you carry an exposed firearm, seriously consider a quality retention holster.
I think it’s a shame that most concealed-carry trainers didn’t devote time to weapon retention. So whenever I have the chance, I teach a few basic techniques for preventing weapons from being turned against the user. I’ve taught military personnel methods for retaining their weapons, some of which applies specifically to those who carry concealed. Job One: Conceal It! First, a major aspect of retaining your weapon is not letting anyone know you have it in the first place—the only time someone should know you’re armed is when a life-threatening situation requires you to draw.
Next, choose a carry method that keeps your weapon well concealed, and be aware of situations that are likely to reveal it (when reaching for a wallet or grabbing for something on a high shelf). Certain carry methods are better than others.
After the grab what if an assailant manages to get your gun away from you? React immediately and violently. If your opponent is attempting to pull your gun from your holster, clamp his hand down on the gun and start pounding on his arm as near the wrist as possible using your fist. Simultaneously kicking him in the shin with the side of your shoe is even better. Many people including me, also carry a folding knife that can be accessed with the left hand. While you’re forcing the assailant’s hand down with your right hand, pull the knife with your left, flip it open and slice up the assailant’s arm. Be sure not to slice too close to your hand, or you may end up cutting yourself. Alternatively, if you carry a backup gun on the left side pull it out and shoot your opponent. If he is attempting to take your gun, he is a lethal threat. What if your opponent grabs your gun after you draw it? Counterattack hard and fast. First, bear in mind that an attacker grabbing the barrel/slide of your weapon can exert enough force to readily torque the weapon from your hand. If he grabs the muzzle, shoot him off of you if you can. If you can’t, get your support hand on the gun and keep your finger out of the triggerguard—you’ll likely end up with a broken trigger finger if he torques the gun away. Keep kicking your attacker’s knees and shins and stomping his feet. If it appears likely that the attacker may wrest the gun away, hit the magazine release (if an auto) and dump the magazine. If the pistol has a magazine safety, it is now inoperable. If you get it back, you can jam in your spare mag. If there’s no magazine safety, the gun will have a single shot. If using an auto pistol with a hammer drop safety such as some S&W autos, the Beretta 92 or others, then try to shove the safety to the “on” position to render the pistol inoperable.
There are many gun retention techniques out there. Learn from a competent instructor and practice a few. Remember also that concealed is the key. If they don’t know you have it, they can’t take it!
Semper Paratus
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