Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Concealed carry Advice From A Pro

Did you ever hear of a police officer named Lt. Bob Stasch? Neither had I until my friend Choirboy told me about him. He is a commanding officer for the Chicago Police Department. He has been a police officer in Chicago for over 25 years. He may even be retired by now. I saw an interview with him (thanks Mas Ayoob!). He has been in 14 gunfights in the incredibly unsafe parts of Chicago. He has some very good insights that apply to anyone who carries a gun professionally, or as a citizen.
Some of these things I’ve taught for years and others maybe not so much.

Carry what is comfortable, not what someone recommends. He said the gun should “…feel like a 6th finger.”
He recommends, and I concur, choosing a gun that feels good in your hand and that goes “bang” every time.
Sometimes certain guns get a stigma because of their price. Like Kel Tec’s are garbage and Kimber’s are the best. Those stereo types of guns are usually not true. Most guns will shoot well if the shooter can shoot well. Find a gun that fits you well and that you can shoot well.

He said out of his 14 gunfights that he only used a two-handed grip 3 times.
Usually his support hand was doing something else, operating a radio, pushing someone or something out of the way, but occupied. Drill with a single hand. I’ve always maintained this. If you shoot and move you will find a two-handed grip and stance almost impossible to maintain. Even in competition you have to stop to shoot. If you don’t train with one hand you won’t all of a sudden know how to shoot with one hand. Try it with each hand. Incorporate one handed shooting into your training.

Most of his gunfights were at a distance of under 10 yards, with the majority being about 3 yards.
I’ve also trained this for years. Be able to hit your target in close quarters (CQ). You have to draw, aim, and shoot within about 2 seconds. That will mean being able to get your first shot off before you aim with sights. You should be able to get off one to two shot before bringing the weapon to your line of sight. I use the 21 foot rule (it’s actually not a rule) for my maximum shooting distance with a pistol. That’s just me. You should incorporate some sort of CQ into your training. Most of my training is CQ.

In his first gunfight, he said that he and his partner shot the suspect 15 times before the suspect went down. The suspect had no drugs in his system and ended up staying alive for 10 days after the encounter.
After Lt. Stasch’s first shooting, he ended up practicing headshots at close distance. He says he practices on a 6-inch paper plate target.

I know that head shots aren’t very appealing. But I know some operators that train almost exclusively with head shots. The El Presidente can help you here. My El Prez is a variation of Jeff Coopers and the competition drill. At various CQ distances I turn, draw, and put two to center of mass and one to the head, change mags, and repeat. I also mix it up. I like the idea of a 6 inch target. I think I use a 10 inch plate but I do hit the center “ring” which is about 6 to 7 inches.

He said he carries a spare gun (a revolver) and two spare magazines for his .45.
These days carry guns are small and many are single stack. Knowing this, I carry as much as I can. At least carry a spare magazine. But more is always better. Most of us may not need a spare gun, but a spare magazine or two is a very prudent practice. If you can handle a spare gun and two or three magazines, then by all means, carry that. Most concealed carriers carry one gun and one spare mag. Find a system that is good for you. If you find yourself in a more dangerous part of town often, maybe more is the minimum. If I know I’m going into a more dangerous situation, I arm myself for it. If I’m going into a green zone I want a battle rifle, 3 30 rounders, a sidearm with two extra mags. Out of the green zone would be even more. But I don’t see very “hot” areas so I arm accordingly. I know some ex-operators who carry a battle rifle in their trunk. I don’t know if it’s habit or they know something I don’t. But where I live, under rule of law, I leave the battle rifle at home with the ammo battle packs. If you find yourself in a questionable neighborhood, carrying a large bank deposit, you would act responsibly.

Two things I really liked about his interview:
He said the best way to survive gunfights is to never be in one in the first place. And two, he doesn’t care about being an expert, he just wants to go home at night.
These two bits of advice are better than anything else he could say.
Situational awareness, being able to see a problem and avoid it before it happens is the best defense we can have.
Lt. Bob Stasch is a true hero. He’d be the last to say it though. His courage under fire is something we should all learn from. I’d recommend his interview in learning how to be better at self-defense.
Semper Paratus
Check 6