April 23rd, 2010 10:45 AM
I have my permit, firearm, holster. Now what...
I now have my carry permit, picked a firearm, and holster. So, what's next?
Let me back up a bit. The choice to carry/not carry was difficult but I believe I have made the right choice. I can always decide to leave the weapon at home...
The weapon: I actually purchased a Sig P238 and a Ruger LCP. While I believe the P238 is a much nicer gun, the LCP does have a weight and size advantage. I carry, when I carry (yes, I know that there are those who believe the firewall should always be carried) the LCP.
The Holster: Uncle George. Nice leather, well constructed. Superb service. And, hey, they guy is a Texan...
Ammo. Right now, I am using Blazer Brass, Independence, MacTech and Fiocci FMJ as they were easy to get and inexpensive. (actually found Able Ammo had sock of 380 acp at a great price so picked up 10 boxes but I should have purchased more...). While I understand that FMJ is not a defensive round, it is not expensive and my intention is to defend myself, not kill someone else. I know I am going to get flamed for that comment. So far, the LCP has feed/ejected all these FMJ rounds without a single failure.
First, Practice, Practice, Practice. I am hitting the range often. I stay for about an hour and shoot 100 rounds. I am deliberate and do not rush. My target is placed at 7 yards. I load the mag with 3 rounds at a time. I shoot all 3 within 2 seconds or so, evaluate my results, and try again. That is my routine.
The LCP's DA trigger is long and hard to get used to. I much prefer (and am a much better shot) with an SA trigger. The sights on the LCP, well, kinda suck. But, do we really need sights? If a bad guy is going to force me into a situation where I need to act quickly, am I really going to have enough time to line up each shot?
So, for now, it is week after week of practice, practice, practice point shooting at a target 7 yards in front of me. If my threat was further away, I'd run to evade. If not, I am prepared to defend myself.
My questions for those who care to contribute are:
Does anyone who owns the LCP (ro something similar like a Kahr P380, Keltek...) carry with a round in the tube? Or, if I was faced with a threat, would I be able to rack the slide in time? I practice EVERY DAY drawing from the holster in the front pocket, racking the slide, pointing and firing with an AZOOM dummy round; trying to make this action 'muscle memory' but in a REAL situation, does muscle memory work?
April 23rd, 2010 10:52 AM
I am not going to flame you - this is a place to share opinions.
Originally Posted by GOSmartGO
Personally, I carry Speer Gold Dot JHPs (jacketed hollow points). I do that for safety. My adult daughter was of the same opinon (You can be charged with trying to kill someone!) when she learned we carry hollow points as self-defense rounds. If my wife or I ever need to discharge a ccw at an assailant, we want to strike and disable that target. We are not shooting to kill, but simply shooting to eliminate or stop the threat from killing/injuring me or my family.
I don't want my rounds to travel through that person and strike an innocent bystander. Nor do I want a round to travel through the wall of my condo or house and endanger anyone other than the assailant(s). If I point my gun at someone and pull the trigger, I am trying to kill them, no matter how you frame it.
April 23rd, 2010 11:08 AM
You're right on track with practice and training, although I recommend an emphasis on training before bad habits get engrained through practice (just like a golf swing ;-).
Originally Posted by GOSmartGO
I carry an LCP almost every day. Given the nature of what it is, we can rule out that this is a sniper rifle. This is a gun of last resort, or a 'belly gun'. That suggests that it's gonna be a panick moment when you need it. I hate to say it, but the truth is you'll likely be defending yourself with one hand. Or worse, in the heat of the moment, you'll draw and forget to chamber it. It's perfectly safe to carry one in the pipe with an LCP - in a good holster that protects the trigger.
If it helps, think of it as a double-action revolver. The hammer doesn't come back until you pull the trigger, and like you said, it's a loooonnng trigger pull. I wouldn't have it any other way, as I'm not trying to win any IDPA matches with the little guy.
In regards to the defensive round philosophy, I agree with MadMac. If I'm put in a situation where deadly force is justified, I don't want to shoot them just a little bit. Ask anyone that has been in this situation and they'll tell you that no matter what they shot with, they always wish it was bigger.
Welcome to the board! I learn much here every day.
'Clinging to my guns and religion
April 23rd, 2010 11:24 AM
+1 to what MadMac said. And continue to practice, practice, practice. I would suggest you vary your distances a bit though, and practice reloading with a spare mag with the sig and speed loader with the revolver. If there are any advanced pistol classes offered in your area, take them. I've had a couple here and intend to take more. They are worth the money. Good luck and stay safe.
Last edited by JDE101; April 23rd, 2010 at 11:26 AM.
Reason: corrected sentence
Live to ride, ride to live. Harley Road King
And keep a .45 handy
Kimber Custom TLE II
April 23rd, 2010 12:08 PM
April 23rd, 2010 12:21 PM
PO: I'd say you're right on track with the continued practice. I recently moved, and am still unpacking/honey-do's around the house; which has severely taken away from time i used to spend practicing draws and other such activities... I need to get back into the routine.
.40 S&W 180gr Hydrashoks for me, thanks. I want to stop a threat as quickly as possible, most efficiently as possible, without over-penetration.
April 23rd, 2010 12:28 PM
Seek training, training, training. Marksmanship is important--knowing where all of your rounds are going; breathing; muscle memory and what not. But learning how to employ your gun in a defensive situation is a separate thing.
Originally Posted by GOSmartGO
Use of cover; shooting from cover (car, truck, wall, etc); clearing malfunctions. what if you're knocked down? How do you respond? Injured? What if you need to shoot off-handed? One handed? These are not too far-fetched...
Just my 2 cents...
- know the difference
is a fancy name for crappy fighter
You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know
April 23rd, 2010 12:34 PM
If my life is threatened with a gun, I think I'm going to shoot to kill and eliminate the threat to me and others.
April 23rd, 2010 12:38 PM
While I don't carry either of the guns you mentioned, the theory is going to be the same. I don't recommend FMJ for defensive carry. Even with a .380 there is the chance of over penetration and injury to an innocent party. The chances of over penetration with a JHP is negligible.
As for not carrying with one in the pipe. You'll find the general feeling here is that it's a bad idea. In a real life situation things happen very fast. The seconds it takes to rack the slide could mean the difference walking away unharmed, injured or worse yet dead. All quality modern firearms are safe to carry chambered. It will not go off unless you pull the trigger.
BTW welcome to the forum.
Freedom doesn't come free. It is bought and paid for by the lives and blood of our men and women in uniform.
NRA Life Member
April 23rd, 2010 01:42 PM
The intention is never to kill the bad guy.
The intention is always to STOP the bad guy ASAP before the bad guy can stop or kill you first.
That is why you need whatever the ammo brand is that will most effectively stop the bad guy as quickly as possible.
Bad guys don't always stop trying to kill you just because they have taken bullets to their body.
You absolutely need the odds increased in your favor.
That is because you are not the instigator, the initiator, or the aggressor...you are only the good guy "Joe" trying to protect self, family, &/or the sanctity of your home.
When the bad guy stops/kills you first... then the love and support that you give to your beloved family stops right when you get stopped.
Hopefully now you better understand why proper ammo selection is more important than you believe it to be right now.
We are not killers. We are just people that want to mind our own business and live our personal version of The American Dream without an abrupt and early termination at the hands of some predatory scumbag.
April 23rd, 2010 01:49 PM
You can always tell who hasn't been through a good training class! Absolutely, without a doubt, training is a MUST. Not just basic gun handling, but defensive shooting and learning to move. Learning to move is a huge part i my opinion. I do not want to just stand there and be a target.
I don't feel you need that much training to be a gun owner, but you absolutely should if you want to better the odds of seeing another day after a shooting.
By the way, FMJ are punching through and may make two holes, but it will zip right on through. A well designed hollow point will do more damage and INCREASE (not guarantee) the odds of stopping the fight. So, if you are carrying to STOP someone from attacking you, it would make little sense to carry FMJ when, most likely, it will be less likely to STOP the bad guy, but is still just as lethal - it just MAY take the bad guy longer to go down.
Do what makes you comfortable. I'm just glad to see people making the choice to carry, whether it's EXACTLY how I would do it or not. I'm just another guy!
*EDIT - I have never seen one single case where a bullet traveled through a body then struck an innocent by-stander. I'm not saying there aren't any cases, I just haven't found a single one. Heard of an innocent being hit by an errant round, but that's different. I understand the concern of over-penetration, I just don't feel it's a very valid concern.
Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe
April 23rd, 2010 01:59 PM
There are some interesting videos online. Nothing however takes the place of some real live training but they can be a start.
Here is one that is not too bad..
Pistol Shooting Stances: Video Series | eHow Videos
April 23rd, 2010 02:05 PM
RE: FMJ & Shoot Throughs
See Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry, 2008, Page 87 - 92
April 23rd, 2010 02:41 PM
Welcome, and congratulations! What a huge step forward, taking control of your destiny and ensuring the safety of yourself and loved ones.
I'll try to answer your questions as simply as I can. Yes, carry with a round in the chamber. There are situations that can arise that will not allow you to rack the slide - an injury to your hand or arm, time, single arm restrained by the BG, and many others. As far as ammo type, I think you'll find that the LARGE majority on this forum will advocate JHP of a reputable manufacturer.
Your second question has a simple answer as well. Yes, it works. Muscle memory, especially gross mescle memory, will come in to play in any very stressful situation, even as your fine motor skills have been over run by the 'fight or flight' response. You will perform as you train, which is why it's so important to train correctly and practice what you have learned often.
Again, welcome. Stick around, grab a cup of joe, and read as many different posts as you have time for. Stay safe.
What the **** - How did I end up on this soapbox again?!?!?
April 23rd, 2010 02:51 PM
The forum has spoken and I have listened
I have taken and will continue to get training in both classroom and personal instruction at the range. Needless to say, practice without proper, qualified training is not wise.
That being said, two points.
I understand the FMJ/JHP the argument but never thought about the penetration concerns. My next ammo puchase will be defensive rounds. Plenty of testing with various brands to see which brand works best/worst. I will use what I have found to be most reliable.
I believe I understand the chambered round vs. non-chambered round argument/debate. My modern firearms are designed to NOT dischange without pulling the trigger. If I do not feel comfortable carrying a properly holstered, loaded firearm, then I suspect I should not be be carrying... Moving forward, one round will be chambered.
I very much appreciate the input and critique. I take my decisions to carry very serioulsy and try hard to think issues through. As some have mentioned, buying a gun is easy. Properly using and protecting ones self is a much different story.
To date, I have spent more money on training/practice use of my new LCP than I have on the actual purchase of the gun.
I carry for defensive purposes only. Period. That being said, if I must defend myself, I aim for center mass. I aim and fire to remove the threat. Once the threat is removed, the fight it over. Period. I can only hope that there will be plenty of time to use a cell phone first and call 911 but I have also heard that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. No disrespect to law inforcement is intended.
My training/instructor was very clear; aim for center mass. Chances are that stress conditions will have a major impact on my performance. He was also very clear, when the threat is removed, the shooting stops. If I shoot someone, I expect to go to jail. I do NOT want to go to prison.
On another point, how do you practice drawing your weapon? I have been keeping the LCP in its holster in my front pocket. I practice alone. I have also practiced in a large parking lot while walking to a store. While I never actually remove the weapon (in public), I do slip my thumb and fingers around to 'prepare' to draw. Again, trying to teach my hand/fingers what to do should it be necessary.
Thanks for your input!
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