Loss of fine motor skills

Loss of fine motor skills

This is a discussion on Loss of fine motor skills within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was watching something about self defense with a firearm and the host brought up a great point that I never thought of. He says ...

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Thread: Loss of fine motor skills

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Pro2A's Avatar
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    Loss of fine motor skills

    I was watching something about self defense with a firearm and the host brought up a great point that I never thought of. He says when your adrenaline gets pumping in a SD situation, you lose control of your fine motor skills. This means turning that safety off, or cocking the hammer may be a hindrance to protecting yourself. He said to take simplicity of a firearm into consideration before you carry.

    Has anyone else ever heard of this "loss of fine motor skills"?


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Sure. Mas Ayoob, among others, has extensively described the practical changes that occur. His book Stressfire covers it well.

    Link: Violence Policy Center, describing the "chemical dump" and changes to motor skills that occurs with many in such stressful situations. Apologies for the anti-gun link, but it describes the "fine motor" effects reasonably well.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  3. #3
    Member Array carver's Avatar
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    Yep! That's not all you lose either! Your sense of time goes away, and you loose your peripheral vision. Just moving your feet can become a problem. This is why, if you carry, you should practice. Not just hitting your target, but getting your gun out, safety off, if you have one. Then being able to hit your target while you are in motion. I practice moving to my right, the BG's left. It's easier for a righty to shoot to the right, at a moving target, than to his left.
    Y'all be safe now, ya hear!

    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
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    VIP Member Array JAT40's Avatar
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    Yes, I have heard of this. My SD instructor drilled it into our heads during training. It was draw, point and shoot until the threat was stopped. NO racking the slide, round in the pipe at all times, No safeties on, rec. pistols with out them and no waisted time with sight picture, just point and shoot. We had to practice this over and over because of the lose of fine motor skills during SHTF situations.
    While people are saying "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, ... and they will not escape. 1Th 5:3

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array nosights's Avatar
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    Definately a very real issue. Like stated above, this is why practice is vitally important! I used to think laser sights were a gimmic, then I thought it would be helpful in a defense situation...now, I am back to my first thought. Although not a gimmic (I have some Crimson Tracer grips for my comp pistol when practicing it shows ALOT of what I am doing wrong).

    After talking to a number of people who have had to shoot (and kill) in SD most don't even remember pulling the trigger, much less aiming! When adrenalin takes over it becomes a game of muscle memory control.
    Pray for our nations leaders!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array gddyup's Avatar
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    The physical/emotional state is also referred to as BAR, Body Alarm Reaction. If you see that somewhere, this is what they are talking about.

    Tactical Awareness

    Scroll down to "Stress Factors" and it gives you a quick synopsis of BAR.
    Firefighter/EMT
    "You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected will never know" - T.R.

    <----My LT was unhappy that I did not have my PASS-Tag at that fire. But I found the body so he said he would overlook it. :)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array allenruger's Avatar
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    Same reason the basic rule of firearm safety is keep your finger off the trigger until on target and ready to shoot. If you're in a high anxiety state you could easily press the trigger if you are startled (body tenses up... like when your sibling would jump out and scare you as you walked down the hallway when you were a child) or due to the shaking that can occur. Your body goes to the fight or flight response. It pumps the blood to your core and your main muscles but as a tradeoff you lose your fine motor skills. That's why, IMO, a person should carry a handgun that has no manual safeties and is very basic (ex. Glock or DA revolver) and should always have a round in the chamber. Racking the slide on a semi-auto sounds very basic to all of us but you add in life or death anxiety and even this could become difficult. And the most important thing... PRACTICE!!!!
    Allen

    -"I may get killed with my own gun, but he's gonna have to beat me to death with it, 'cause it's going to be empty." -Clint Smith

  8. #8
    Member Array carver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allenruger View Post
    Same reason the basic rule of firearm safety is keep your finger off the trigger until on target and ready to shoot. If you're in a high anxiety state you could easily press the trigger if you are startled (body tenses up... like when your sibling would jump out and scare you as you walked down the hallway when you were a child) or due to the shaking that can occur. Your body goes to the fight or flight response. It pumps the blood to your core and your main muscles but as a tradeoff you lose your fine motor skills. That's why, IMO, a person should carry a handgun that has no manual safeties and is very basic (ex. Glock or DA revolver) and should always have a round in the chamber. Racking the slide on a semi-auto sounds very basic to all of us but you add in life or death anxiety and even this could become difficult. And the most important thing... PRACTICE!!!!
    Two things I like about the Glock, or DA revolver, is that;
    1. They are dirt simple, just point and shoot!
    2. If you have the BG down, and are covering him with your gun, you don't really have to worry too much about an AD.

    Having said that I still perfer to carry my 1911A!
    Y'all be safe now, ya hear!

    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
    Thomas Jefferson

  9. #9
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    This sums it up pretty well, from the referenced website. It is also a good reason to train with experts that have experience with this matter. Not only fine motor skills, but other abilities and senses also.


    The human physiological and psychological response to mortal dangeis well documented.

    When fear explodes inside of you, your sympathetic nervous system instantly dumps a variety of natural drugs and hormones into your body to cause a high arousal state known as fear. You are literally under the influence of these natural chemicals, so your body operates differently, just as it would under the influence of a chemical you deliberately ingested.

    These chemically induced changes take effect immediately and last for a "significant" period of time. They have specific implications for one's ability to effectively use a handgun for self-defense without needlessly endangering the lives of innocent persons.

    One common effect is distortion of perceived time, called tachypsychia. "An event that takes milliseconds may seem like minutes as everyone and everything appears to move in slow motion." Other physical changes typically include pounding heart, muscle tension, trembling, dizziness, nausea, dry mouth, tingling sensations, the urge to urinate and defecate, and hyperventilation and fainting in some cases. Several of these effects specifically, directly, and dramatically degrade the handgun owner's ability to use his weapon. For example, temporary paralysis—"momentarily freezing as your body is desperately trying to catch up to the sudden awareness that your life is in danger"—is an obvious inconvenience.

    Loss of Fine Motor Control. Among the temporary consequences of the adrenaline dump are sudden surge in gross muscle strength, increase in speed associated with increased muscle strength, and insensitivity to pain.

    These changes enhance basic animal fighting skills, so they may be useful in a hand-to-hand brawl. "The fight or flight response has not changed since caveman days, when people fought with their bare hands or with clubs and rocks," writes Chris Bird. But, expert Ayoob advises, "there is a downside to this....you will experience gross, severe, dramatic, cataclysmic loss of fine motor coordination. Dexterity falls through your ass....The hands will begin to tremble."

    This is a serious problem because "the firing of the gun is dexterity intensive. You can't change that." In short, the use of fine motor skills for tasks like firing handguns are not part of the body's survival design: "Our bodies have not yet adapted to the possibility that fighting may involve a delicate trigger squeeze." Loss of fine motor control also means that reloading, also a high-dexterity skill, especially in revolvers, becomes much more difficult.


    The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins. ― The Journals of Kierkegaard

  10. #10
    New Member Array wtfd661's Avatar
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    This means turning that safety off, or cocking the hammer
    another one to think about is a magazine change and trying to use the slide stop to release the slide. I train and use the hand over method to release the slide because of the adrenaline/gross motor skill factor.

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    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
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    All of the above are very true statements and what your body goes through during a situation like this is something that everyone who carries a weapon for protection should understand and train for. It is impossible to duplicate these conditions in training this is why embedding the movements of drawing and firing to muscle movement is so very important. Those that take the time to achieve this that have been involved in a conflict will often say they don't even remember drawing their weapon, it just happened. Again, something everyone who carries a weapon for SD needs to train for. Repetition, repetition, repetition!!!

    NCH
    When Seconds Count, The Cops Are Just Minutes Away!!
    Carry On!
    NCHornet

  12. #12
    Member Array jdivence's Avatar
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    There is a solution to this problem. it is called GLOCK no safety issues.
    God invented cops so that firemen could have heroes too!

  13. #13
    Member Array CrookedSoul's Avatar
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    the Smith M&P line are also great for SD carry. I am a newb here and I appreciate all of your info and insight

  14. #14
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    Well, I'm a restoration artist so for me - flicking off a thumb safety for me requires about as much fine motor skill as kicking an old tin can down an alley.

    Fine Motor Skills. ~ This has already been pretty much extensively covered very recently in this thread. Go Here.
    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...afety-off.html

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