Skill Set to Carry

This is a discussion on Skill Set to Carry within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; For starters I just want to say that I have read a lot on this forum and you guys and gals have helped me make ...

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Thread: Skill Set to Carry

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    Member Array RugerMike's Avatar
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    Skill Set to Carry

    For starters I just want to say that I have read a lot on this forum and you guys and gals have helped me make some really big decisions about carrying a firearm. As of right now I have a Glock 19 that I have owned for almost exactly one month and have about 800 rounds through (will be over 1,000 after my range trip later on today). I got some pretty good instruction from an IDPA master shooter that I work with. I think thanks to him my fundamentals of grip and draw are decent and at the least I am trying to do things properly and not developing bad habits.

    Here is my question. What type of a skill set should someone have to feel confident carrying? I have been carrying around the house, and admittedly when my permit showed up in the mail yesterday I took my Glock for a little road trip down to Cabela's (only a 30 minute drive!) to pick out a new holster. I now have a Galco King Tuk that I fell asleep on the couch wearing, which I find to be very comfortable and concealable.

    Now that I have my carry holster I know I need to work on drawing from that which will be very different from drawing from the IDPA style kydex OWB holster I have been using. I can certainly attain minute of bad guy accuracy, but that is shooting isosceles with both hands and I know that is not realistic when it comes to self defense shooting.

    I know this is going to differ for everyone, and I think mindset comes into play here, but I have a calm personality and have been in enough messy situations to know that I will not just "freeze" if I am in a SD situation. So lets hear it. What do you think the skill set should be for a person to carry their weapon and have confidence they could handle a self defense situation?
    Fear the man with one gun. Especially if that gun is a Glock 19.

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  3. #2
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    The most important skill sets for carrying a weapon for defense are situational awareness, and mindset training.

    Your gun, is a last ditch survival tool, and unlike many think, does not make you a cop or superman (not saying you are in that crowd, but there are a lot). It is a lot better seeing a situation develop, and being able to leave, than stick around and have to take a life, even in defense of your own. So work on being aware of your surroundings, and learn how to read human nature and body language. Go sit in a mall, and just watch people walk past, you will be shocked at how oblivious most of them are. But if an off duty cop, combat veteran, or criminal walks past, they will stand out from the crowd, because they are the ones aware of what is going on all around them. Also, if you do this with your Glock, it will help build confidence in your ability to conceal it in public, without anyone noticing.

    As far as mindset, you need to be honest with yourself in a spot deep down inside that you have come to terms with the fact you may have to take a life, it really is just about the most serious thing you can do. It is denying someone else all the rest of their days, and it will alter your life. So, make sure you are okay with that, try to get to a lecture by Dr. Grossman, or read his books. Read "In the Gravest Extreme" by Ayoob. I always like the quote in Limatunes' signature about mindset "Even death is a poor excuse for not fighting back." That you need to be prepared to do absolutely anything to survive a situation, and there should be no excuse to yourself for failing.

    Aside from the mental stuff, work on drawing from concealment, shooting on the move, mag reloads, and malfunction drills. Train yourself to get off the "X" while drawing and putting rounds on target. That should be a good place to start.
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    Ex Member Array apvbguy's Avatar
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    you need to learn how to draw and fire quickly, many people go for training. If I were you I'd seek out a good SD trainer and take a class or 2

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    Senior Member Array GentlemanJim's Avatar
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    Learn to shoot accurately one handed.

    Practice getting off the "X".

    Learn to shoot while moving quickly, (5 yards and under) not shuffling.

    Learn to shoot with your off hand.

    That should keep you busy for a while.

    Edit: I would say if you have the skill to keep all your rounds in a dinner plate size group at 7-10 yards and are competent to carry your gun safely you have the physical skills. But before you walk out the door you need to make sure you understand the law as it relates to the use of deadly force in your State.

    I would add, learn to run your gun (reloads and malfunction clearance) one handed, both strong side and off side.

    Jim
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    It really is not for me or anyone else to say when you are ready to carry. You have the RIGHT to Keep and Bear Arms. You have gone through the process of obtaining a CC permit (whatever PA calls it), so you should already know the legalities of carrying a firearm in that jurisdiction. Other than that, you have to decide for yourself when you are comfortable enough to carry that weapon in public.

    Can you load the gun safely? Can you draw and present it without dropping it on the deck? Can you consistently hit COM at more than arms length? I would suppose that is a minimum skill set. You need to determine if that is "good enough" for you.

    I am not convinced that only Rainbow Six shooters should be armed in public. EVERYONE has the Natural Right to self-defense, no matter what their skill level. A responsible person will strive for more than "good enough", but that is a process that takes time and commitment.

    I will just remind you that every round that exits your firearm has an ENORMOUS potential price tag attached to it. Be willing to pay it before strapping on a firearm.
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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    All good information in the posts above, but if your in my age bracket, getting off the "X" is not really an option. But I own my "X"!
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    The most important skill set is knowing how to stay out of trouble. The second most important skill set is knowing how to run like the wind. The third most important skill set is knowing how to use non-lethal means. The fourth most important skill set is knowing your state's law on use of lethal force in self defense. Only after all else fails should there be a need for using the 5th set--- combat handgun skills. If you are an ordinary civilian and not in LEO or security, knowing the first 2 (and practicing the 2nd) will keep you from getting to number 5, G-d willing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiram25 View Post
    All good information in the posts above, but if your in my age bracket, getting off the "X" is not really an option. But I own my "X"!
    I have days when I know exactly what you mean.

    Nevertheless, even walking briskly off the "X" is better than standing statically on the "X" waiting for the incoming bullets to arrive.

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    Personally, I think the most important skill is the realization that a gun is not the begin all and end all of self defense.

    Sometimes you will have to be without your gun. Another time you might be taken totally by surprise and not be able to get to your gun.

    Perhaps you will come accross a situation wherein your gun will not work... you shoot the guy 7 times and he's still fighting. Then what?

    As the saying goes, when all you carry is a hammer everything starts to look like a nail and when it's clearly not a nail you stand there thinking, "Now what?" instead of doing anything... you freeze.

    Hand-to-hand skills that allow you to respond immediately with nothing but your own verociousness and emty hands can NEVER be underestimated.

    Weapon defense skills!!!! I just posted a knife-defense scenario on a FB page that I copied from the instructor of the defensive knife class I took last Dec... I've gotten six responses so far and all six of them have indicated that they don't know what they'd do or that "that's why they carry." A gun will do you almost no good when someone is already on top of you with a knife. You MUST MUST MUST take care of the weapon in play before you can bring your own weapon into the equation. You will NEVER be able to react as fast as they can act and if you are taking time to get to your weapon instead of defending against the weapon already in play you are going to get shot, stabbed, etc, in that time.

    Learn to be able to fight with WHATEVER is available and USE a gun when applicable, not RELY on a gun.

    As posted above, you don't NEEEEED these skills to carry. You have a right to carry. But, in my humble opinion, those should be the kind of skills you strive to obtain.

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    Well said as always Lima. I am very interested in a knife defense course. Always seems like it is a more probably scenario, than many others.
    BigJon


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    I encourage you to go read through all of John Farnam's Quips. He has a large collection of excellent stories about people who did or did not exhibit situational awareness.

    John Farnam's Quips - Index


    After I took my NRA Basic Course to qualify me to apply for a CCW here in Colorado I thought that I knew how to safely handle a firearm and hit my target. Actually, I already knew that before I took the course as I had been a competitive target shooter for many years. But I certainly did not know how to survive a gunfight, let alone how to avoid a gunfight or to win a gunfight. Happily for me, my course instructor was (and still is) a retired police captain who had for many years run a state police training academy. He did not mince words when he said that the NRA Basic Course was not sufficient to teach me how to prevail in an armed confrontation. I took several more courses specifically aimed at self-defense, and at surviving and winning gun fights. In those courses I learned about my state's laws and case law history, what it is like to win a gun fight and then be sued (he was), how to make split-second decisions to shoot or not shoot (using training films made specifically for that purpose), where exactly in my state it was and was not legal to carry, what the current bills making their way through the state legislature were and what their impact would be on CCW holders if they passed, which cities and counties had peculiar enforcement policies, and so-on.

    So, as several previous posters have done, I respectfully encourage you to find and take one or more specific CCW self-defense courses. In particular, look for instructors with a law-enforcement background. Look for courses that have you run around and "get off the X" rather than standing statically in the stalls at a fixed course. Look for instructors and courses that have you shooting from a variety of positions (sitting at a table, simulating sitting in a car, sitting in a restaurant, laying down flat on your back after you have been knocked down by an attacker, etc.). Look for a course that runs you through shoot/no-shoot drills, ideally with interactive simulators. Look especially for a course that has you running force-on-force drills using Air-Soft (not real) guns. force-on-force training really bends your mind and gets you sensitized to the real issues in winning gunfights, as you actually participate in a few dozen (simulated, but with pellets that really sting when you get hit) gunfights.


    I also encourage you to view Kelly McCann's (Jim Grover's) videos, as his videos are strongly oriented toward very real-world, on-the-street confrontations and encounters.


    As far as reading books, I suggest all of Gabe Suarez's books, especially (but not limited to)

    All of the above books are available from Amazon.com and from Gabe's storefront at OneSourceTactical.com

    I also suggest Gabe's book "Vehicle Gunfighting", which is available from OneSourceTactical.


    I encourage you to go compete in some local IDPA matches and some Glock matches. These matches are a great opportunity to practice safe gun handling, stretch your limits, find yourself in some unanticipated situations, and meet people who can tell you about their experiences taking instruction from local instructors.

    I encourage you to go read all through Marc "Animal" MacYoung's web site, as it has invaluable information on how to recognize when you are being selected or "interviewed" by attackers as they determine whether or not to attack you. I encourage you to pay extra special attention to his "Five Stages of Violent Crime" section.


    I encourage you to get some police-grade pepper spray (super hot with UV-flourescing dye) and always carry it. One must always have a non-lethal means of self-defense as well as a lethal-means of self-defense. Carry your pepper spray in a position accessible to your off-hand (not the hand you primarily use to draw and shoot your pistol). For example, let us imagine that you are right handed and tend to carry a pocket pistol in your right side pants or vest pocket, or inside your waistband at 1:00 or behind your hip at 4:00. So you have pepper spray in your left front pants pocket. That way you can use your left hand to take out your pepper spray (while getting off of the "X") and present it to your potential attacker(s), while turning your body to a "bladed" position so your potential attacker(s) can not see you drawing your gun from a pocket or from within your waistband. All the street people know what pepper spray is. If they see it they will usually disengage. If they don't disengage you can be sure that you have an attack in progress.

    As Lima and others have said, have a back-up weapon, such as a good knife that you can deploy one-handed with your weak hand. You might consider a Spyderco 4th generation "Waved" Endura that you can carry it in your weak-side pocket and open it automatically you withdraw it from your pocket. Have multiple layers to your defensive capabilities.

    And, last but not least, *always* have a cell phone with you so you can call 911. A quick call to 911 brings armed and armored police officers, cars, SUVs, vans, armored vehicles, helicopters, ambulances, and all sorts of highly trained professionals who are far better trained and equipped to handle the situation than you are. I consider a cell phone as the single most powerful and most essential self-defense weapon due to its superb force-multiplication capabilities.
    Last edited by marcclarke; November 20th, 2011 at 11:53 AM. Reason: Added Marc MacYount's site to my recommendations

  13. #12
    Member Array Damon1976's Avatar
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    Dont use a different holster for IDPA. Use the same 1 you carry with. I use Crossbreed holsters, the 1 Galco copied for their king tuck.
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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    Personally, I think the most important skill is the realization that a gun is not the begin all and end all of self defense.

    Sometimes you will have to be without your gun. Another time you might be taken totally by surprise and not be able to get to your gun.

    Perhaps you will come accross a situation wherein your gun will not work... you shoot the guy 7 times and he's still fighting. Then what?

    As the saying goes, when all you carry is a hammer everything starts to look like a nail and when it's clearly not a nail you stand there thinking, "Now what?" instead of doing anything... you freeze.

    Hand-to-hand skills that allow you to respond immediately with nothing but your own verociousness and emty hands can NEVER be underestimated.

    Weapon defense skills!!!! I just posted a knife-defense scenario on a FB page that I copied from the instructor of the defensive knife class I took last Dec... I've gotten six responses so far and all six of them have indicated that they don't know what they'd do or that "that's why they carry." A gun will do you almost no good when someone is already on top of you with a knife. You MUST MUST MUST take care of the weapon in play before you can bring your own weapon into the equation. You will NEVER be able to react as fast as they can act and if you are taking time to get to your weapon instead of defending against the weapon already in play you are going to get shot, stabbed, etc, in that time.

    Learn to be able to fight with WHATEVER is available and USE a gun when applicable, not RELY on a gun.

    As posted above, you don't NEEEEED these skills to carry. You have a right to carry. But, in my humble opinion, those should be the kind of skills you strive to obtain.
    Great post! I agree 100%. I used to be in the clump of gun owners who always thought getting to the gun immidiately would be the answer to all lethal altercations. After you start taking edged weapons classes, Krav Maga, or other hand-to-hand defensive instruction, everybody's tune changes fast, me included.

    A lot of good posts on mindset and a few other areas. I also recommend if you have the resources to get some good formal instruction ASAP. Don't just stick with the internet and you tube and think they will have all of your answers. If you want to take the time to learn how to properly run your gun and defend yourself you may as well learn the right way from the start. I made the mistake my first couple years of being a gun owner of learning from friends and the internet. I thought I was well prepared to defend myself and knew what I was doing. I then took my first defensive firearm course and realized how little I knew. I realized how I was mostly reinforcing bad habits for years. If the resources are there, do some research, get some good instruction, and practice, practice, practice. Then get some more instruction and practice, practice, practice and so on.
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    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    A functioning brain.


    And please see my sig (from CCW9MM)
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

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    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    Personally, I think the most important skill is the realization that a gun is not the begin all and end all of self defense.
    This.

    IMO, mindset is everything in self-defense and the gun is only one tool (I just happen to really like shooting that tool for recreation....but I still hope to never use it in RL)
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

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