Monday, January 29, 2007

Guns and knives

I'm sure everyone remembers the classic line in "The Untouchables" when Sean Connery says "isn't that just like a wop? Brings a knife to a gun fight." While it was cute in the film the reality is sadly different. At close range the knife is oft times the winner.

I first ran into this on a body guard course in England run by Dennis Martin and SAS Sgt Lofty Weismann when we did something called the "twenty-one foot" rule down on the range. We had holstered pistols, our opponents had knives. The instant they ran at us our objective was to draw the pistol and shoot them. Twenty-one feet hard could that be? Everyone there assumed it would be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Big surprise...the guys with the blades beat us...every...single...time. Keep in mind that we knew they had knives, and in the real world you usually don't, and two we didn't have any lag time of realizing we were actually under attack. We'd already been told what he had and what was happening. Compare that to the real world when you've got to first take in the fact you're actually under attack, then get lucky enough to see the blade, realize it's deadly force and go for your gun. Can't be done.

Another thing to keep in mind is that we all wore accessible holsters and had been practicing drawing at speed from under a jacket all week long. Where is your concealed piece? In a pocket book, a pocket holster, buried under layers of clothing? What condition do you carry it in? Some people don't have a round chambered when they're carrying? Is the safety on...have you practiced disengaging that under combat stress?

Let's assume for one minute you're lightening Jack and quick enough to get it out and on target (and I've yet to see someone who can) so you get a round off, even's not Hollywood...they're not going to get blown back fifteen feet. Their momentum is going to carry them right into you, hacking and stabbing.

Just like the last better have a plan b if plan a is "hey I carry I gun so I don't need anything else."


1 comment:

Marc said...

I've seen that 21ft rule turn into the 35ft rule in some classes, but that's besides the point.

I still see guys at the range practicing the Tueller drill thinking that because they can draw and put a round on paper from a fixed position in 1.5 seconds, they'll win that particular encounter. They missed the point. What do we expect when we shoot someone? In short: nothing. They'll be plugging rounds into this crackhead while he slits their throat. Ai Uchi is not a win.

Loving the blog. It's like a semi-weekly dose of reality getting injected straight into my eyes.