Shoot to slide lock or count rounds?

This is a discussion on Shoot to slide lock or count rounds? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; To me, mortal combat is any engagement where there's lives at stake. Certainly, war is not the same as a civilian robbery, but when the ...

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  1. #61
    Senior Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    To me, mortal combat is any engagement where there's lives at stake.

    Certainly, war is not the same as a civilian robbery, but when the outcome involves grievous bodily injury or death, to me, that's combat.

    As for shooting until slide-lock:

    For me, that's, with my 99% carry pistol, anywhere between 14 rounds and 19 rounds. That's a lot of rounds to, just like you've said, account for: and as good citizens, we know and understand the gravity of the potential lethality of each round - we are taught, and understand in our core, that we "own" each of the bullets departing the muzzle of our firearm. For many of us civilians, this is one of the overriding concerns for which we train. I agree with that sentiment, 100%, and I am always seeking to better my fundamental pistolcraft, based on this very serious and very real concern.

    Do I expect that I'll ever burn through an entire magazine?

    I honestly don't think so.

    But at the same time, the most recent "good-shoot" CCW shooting in a Detroit barbershop goes to show that yes, in some instances, real-life does really mirror the Force-on-Force that we undertake, and that before you know it, you're at-slide-lock.

    I shoot until the threat is no longer a threat. If that takes one round, all the better. Two? Three? Five? Eight? Eighteen?

    Like Rob Pincus said, I'm not looking to always shoot X number of rounds at Y target: I'm going to be assessing the threat, and I will shoot to stop/neutralize.

    If that's before slide-lock, all the better (but you'd bet that I'll have done a tactical reload, even if that only means that I've topped off the gun to lay down on the concrete, when the cops arrive). But if it goes to slide-lock from either a malfunction or from ammo expenditure, I know that I know how to deal with it.

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  3. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSiWRX View Post
    ^ Now that's elegant.

    I now see why my instructor favors Clint Smith so much, himself.

    I can see my malfunction drills changing, after having seen that.



    ------------



    adric22, please, please, please do practice that drill more than "a few" times.

    As humans, we're all different, but we all need a certain number of "reps" before our brains are able to ingrain those motions - and in a stressed situation, those actions which are not ingrained will rapidly come to be known, and in the worst way possible.

    Particularly for someone who does not carry a spare magazine, malfunction clearance drills - with specific mind paid to retention of the magazine - becomes of even more importance.

    I haven't shot for nearly as long as you have. I'm a beginner, as everyone here knows. I've only been shooting since November. But what I have done is send some 10K+ rounds downrange, on my main HD/class/range gun alone, in that time, and I can honestly say that this devotion, at least on the square range, shows clear: just ask any of my instructors or classmates.

    With that round-count as a frame of reference, I have had only one single double-feed. This occurred with dirty ammo/magazine which I had, on that same night in training, dropped in the mud and simply "rinsed-out" with a little water.

    That's one hundredth of a percent: a 1:10000 failure rate.

    I have about 3K rounds on my carry gun, and it has had one single stovepipe, induced by my having severely limp-wristed its action: I was already fatigued from that day's shooting, and what's more, I also had a wrist injury.

    The thing is, even with such extraordinarily low failure rates, firearms are machines, and no matter how well you take care of them or feed them, they will, at some point or another, fail. Sure, the odds are slim, but once again, we don't carry to play the odds, do we? Playing it purely by statistics, it seems silly to even carry a gun....

    But that's not why we carry.

    We carry so that if the worst possible scenario does come to find us one day, we are more prepared than "the next guy/girl."

    Knowing how to run these remediation measures on your firearm is an absolute MUST, and you absolutely MUST drill them into your brain and muscles so that they are nothing more than second nature, so that you can keep your eyes and your brain "in the fight" and your feet moving towards cover and/or tending to your daughter, when it all does go wrong.

    In my last training class, encouraged by the instructor, I'd set up so many malfunctions (using spent casings randomly distributed into my live magazines) that other students even stopped to ask why I was having so much problems with my gun. Not only that, but I elicited a blister, a cut, and even a bruise (which lasted for two days!!!) on the heel of my support hand, from having done the "tap-rack-assess/bang" drill so many times.

    By the middle of the day, the instructor was stopping the class so that I could demonstrate malfunction clearance to other students: and he'd even given me the praise of "before I could even yell at you to clear the malfunction, you'd already done so and was shooting!" I took the praise and worked even harder, putting in perhaps twice as many spent casings after that.

    Not only that, but you have to realize that these malfunctions can really present themselves in rather nasty ways.

    The night that I encountered my first double-feed?

    Maybe the cold rain pounding on my head and hands had something to do with it, but I simply could not extract the spent casing from the breech. I'd done everything right up to that point: locked slide back, stripped out the magazine that's still feeding so as to relieve tension - but I just could not rack out that casing: the slide wouldn't even move.

    My instructor came over, gently took the gun from me, and said: "Allen, you really have to get yourself a good grip, and just RIP that casing out." In one clean stroke, he'd done it.

    I was mortified.

    I truly try to do my dues as a student. I watch the Magpul DVDs beginning-to-end before every class, and I train, myself, daily on drills ranging anywhere from dry-fire to movement to malfunctions. I really do try to do my dues.

    Yet, that night, I'd failed.

    But I learned.

    And guess what? At my next class, when a fellow student pulled himself off the line and said "hey, I just can't get that casing out of there," I went over to him, and explained to him what had happened to me, and what my instructor did - and showed him the right way to do it. Grab it and rip. His was a Glock, and he's had the thing for many, many years - also with no malfunctions. He thanked me profusely: I said "you're most welcome - but do me a favor, pass-on that knowledge you know have."

    I'm not the strongest guy, but I can crush a Captains of Crush #3, and the man that I helped? sure, he may be a white-collar office-worker who's nearing retirement, but he had a firm handshake, so I doubt that he was hurting there, either. So why could neither of us positively correct our double-feed malfunctions the first time around? Because we didn't know how much force we should have used - because we thought that "oh, man, if I really used that much force, I might hurt my gun!" We didn't know any better because we hadn't ever came upon such a situation, in our practice before.

    The thing is, you can never really plan for these situations. We were lucky, we had these experiences in class. But what would have happened if those situations had occurred out in the real world?

    You've gotta practice, and practice a lot (oh, and yes, a snap-cap or a dummy cartridge works, but a spent casing [just be sure it matches your caliber!] tends to induce "harder" malfunctions), and even more so if you're running multiple weapons or have special needs, such as retention of the magazine, in-mind.
    Good story. I was actually just purposely setting-up double feed and stove pipe jams in my bedroom with snap caps and my G30. I lost a snap cap from racking the slide so hard it went flying across the room, I can't find it. And I think I bruised my left palm.. ouch.. It's worth it though :p

    Though, now after reading your story I'm going to load some spent casings in my Glock as the range. I may do the same with my AR15.

    I've tried some dry fire practice with spend casings before I had snap caps, my Glock will 50% of the time feed a spent casing :D

  4. #63
    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    im a fan of grips that are smooth on the cover clothing side, checkered and or rough on the other. 20 LPI on the front strap, 30 rear.
    slide with functional cuts to to keep the grip when wet (sweat or blood). there is lots to learn from stories of real encounters and though we may not have heard mention of round count as the event unfolds, we have seen the importance of having the proper equipment and having trained with it.

    lots of really well said things in this thread--well done all.
    TSiWRX likes this.
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  5. #64
    Senior Member Array WC145's Avatar
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    Interesting thread, lot of differing opinions, ideas. Personally, I do not count rounds, never have. When we train and qualify we shoot to slide lock. If at any point there is a lull before the gun is empty, I'll load a fresh mag so that I'm topped off, when there's enough time I'll top up my short and empty mags as well. It is a simple method that keeps me in the fight and allows me to focus on the tasks at hand. Maybe Claude can keep count, but I can't imagine bothering to try.

    I shoot IDPA with my duty gun (and gear), a .45 1911, and also a 9mm 1911. I just switch guns while others are shooting and then shoot the stage again. I think trying to count rounds would be detrimental in that case - both guns are the same platform, set up the same way, fit, feel, and function the same. Going back and forth during a match it would be way too easy to miscount since one is 8+1 and the other is 10+1 but in the holster and the hand they feel the same except for recoil. So, I shoot IDPA the way we train, to slidelock, no counting or anticipating the reload, shoot til it's empty, reload and shoot more as needed.

  6. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Spuk View Post
    Shoot till slide lock?... Seriously?

    First off. I wouldnt consider an armed confrontation in the civilian world to be combat, or comparative to most military situations. So I wont use the word combat.

    I have a problem with shooting till slide lock. Well two problems... First is the expediture of ammunition. Every round you fire must eventually stop moving. And the shooter is responsible for every round he puts down range. And responsible for the damage each round does. Some people say they will shoot till slide lock or till the threat is neuteralized. I cant think of any situation where 13 rounds need be fired in rapid succession in the civilian world.
    Second. OK so someone shoots till slide lock. Then what? Your out. A reload? More indiscriminate firing? While you doing this reload the perps friend you failed to see put's one in you.

    IN an armed confrontation in the civilian world it is very easy to get tunnel vision. Focus on one threat. There may be only one threat, or maybe two or three. Practice, both with your firearm, and your mind I believe that anyone can control their perseption, and their motor skills. Gaming like IDPA is great IMO. They force the participant to think and shoot at the same time. Learned behaviour, learned mental skills, learned motor skills...

    My post is only my opinion, and not material from some big name school, or instructor. Just based on my own experience, and training.

    Spuk!
    I can tell you what IDPA doesn't do. Shoot back at you!

    No matter how much you train or compete, until bullets actually start flying in your direction, you have no idea what you are going to do. And the closer they are to you when the lead starts flying, the more frantic the exchange of bullets is going to be. Especially if you are caught out in the open.

    I have seen a number of LEO dash cam videos where the officer is surprised by a close range assassination attempt during a routine car stop, shoot to slide lock in a mere second or two. In these type events, I don't feel it's fair to dismiss the event because they are law enforcement and we are civilians. The dynamics are essentially the same. Someone is attacking you, without warning, and trying to kill you. It doesn't matter if he's an LEO on a traffic stop or some guy getting accosted on a street corner by two gang bangers. Again, the closer they are to you, the more frantic the encounter will be.

    Why do you think suspects frequently get shot 10-12 times by a single officer, or 15-30 times if two or more officers are involved. They encounter a criminal, the criminal tries to shoot them and the officer, just like anyone else in this world are scared out of their wits and are trying to stop the attack as fast as they can before getting killed.

    Yes, it's their job to put themselves in dangerous situations, but they are mortal just like you and I. They have wives and kids they want to go home to, and in the blink of an eye, someone six feet away is shooting at them.

    I'm using LEO's as examples because of the data shows they are involved in shooting much more often than civilians. But if you feel the LEO feels any different than you would when the bullets are coming at him, then I would suggest you should really take another look at who you think the average LEO is.

    Gunfights are pure gut wrenching fear and emotion. For anyone.

    I've also heard 24 time National USPSA Champion Rob Leathem say on video tape that he's not that well adept at defensive shooting and not sure how well he'd do in a real life shooting. Now maybe he's being modest, but he at least understands that the dynamics of a real gunfight is much different than the competition world.

    Training and competition helps prepare you. That's all. When the moment of truth comes, things often change.

    I'm also not saying, everyone is going to lose their mind and screw up. That's ridiculous. Good guys survive gun battles all the time. Lance Thomas is a prime example.
    limatunes, JDE101 and Harryball like this.
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  7. #66
    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSiWRX View Post
    To me, mortal combat is any engagement where there's lives at stake.

    Certainly, war is not the same as a civilian robbery, but when the outcome involves grievous bodily injury or death, to me, that's combat.

    As for shooting until slide-lock:

    For me, that's, with my 99% carry pistol, anywhere between 14 rounds and 19 rounds. That's a lot of rounds to, just like you've said, account for: and as good citizens, we know and understand the gravity of the potential lethality of each round - we are taught, and understand in our core, that we "own" each of the bullets departing the muzzle of our firearm. For many of us civilians, this is one of the overriding concerns for which we train. I agree with that sentiment, 100%, and I am always seeking to better my fundamental pistolcraft, based on this very serious and very real concern.

    Do I expect that I'll ever burn through an entire magazine?

    I honestly don't think so.

    But at the same time, the most recent "good-shoot" CCW shooting in a Detroit barbershop goes to show that yes, in some instances, real-life does really mirror the Force-on-Force that we undertake, and that before you know it, you're at-slide-lock.

    I shoot until the threat is no longer a threat. If that takes one round, all the better. Two? Three? Five? Eight? Eighteen?

    Like Rob Pincus said, I'm not looking to always shoot X number of rounds at Y target: I'm going to be assessing the threat, and I will shoot to stop/neutralize.

    If that's before slide-lock, all the better (but you'd bet that I'll have done a tactical reload, even if that only means that I've topped off the gun to lay down on the concrete, when the cops arrive). But if it goes to slide-lock from either a malfunction or from ammo expenditure, I know that I know how to deal with it.
    Rob also talks about re-active targets. It is a great training tool, to shoot your target to the ground no matter how many rounds it takes. Doing all the fundamentals along the way.. Good post TSi
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

  8. #67
    Senior Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    ^ I'm currently looking at a couple of outdoor ranges near me - one requires that you bring your own targets, and I'm thinking that's where I'll do my reactive target training: Pincus's/Janich's tutorial on how to make cardboard-box reactive targets was something that I paid close attention to!

  9. #68
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    I think training for competition and SD are different. Agreed that no one is shooting back at you in a comp so round count is realistic. I'm trying to ready for some competitions and feel that round count would be helpful. For SD, I do not carry spare mags. Can't remember where I heard/read this but something along the lines of if you need more than 12 rounds you're kinda screwed anyway. That being said, for SD and purely reactive shooting I double tap until I'm out.
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  10. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSiWRX View Post
    ^ I'm currently looking at a couple of outdoor ranges near me - one requires that you bring your own targets, and I'm thinking that's where I'll do my reactive target training: Pincus's/Janich's tutorial on how to make cardboard-box reactive targets was something that I paid close attention to!
    They are good people to listen to.

    JD Atewire if you have a mag failure, then you might want an additional mag. You will never know how many rounds it will take.
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

  11. #70
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    "Do as I say, not as I do."

    Count rounds. Mag changes are much faster if you don't have the slide lock back.

    Now, I don't do that, because I don't practice enough and it's harder than you think.

  12. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    I can tell you what IDPA doesn't do. Shoot back at you!

    No matter how much you train or compete, until bullets actually start flying in your direction, you have no idea what you are going to do. And the closer they are to you when the lead starts flying, the more frantic the exchange of bullets is going to be. Especially if you are caught out in the open.

    I have seen a number of LEO dash cam videos where the officer is surprised by a close range assassination attempt during a routine car stop, shoot to slide lock in a mere second or two. In these type events, I don't feel it's fair to dismiss the event because they are law enforcement and we are civilians. The dynamics are essentially the same. Someone is attacking you, without warning, and trying to kill you. It doesn't matter if he's an LEO on a traffic stop or some guy getting accosted on a street corner by two gang bangers. Again, the closer they are to you, the more frantic the encounter will be.

    Why do you think suspects frequently get shot 10-12 times by a single officer, or 15-30 times if two or more officers are involved. They encounter a criminal, the criminal tries to shoot them and the officer, just like anyone else in this world are scared out of their wits and are trying to stop the attack as fast as they can before getting killed.

    Yes, it's their job to put themselves in dangerous situations, but they are mortal just like you and I. They have wives and kids they want to go home to, and in the blink of an eye, someone six feet away is shooting at them.

    I'm using LEO's as examples because of the data shows they are involved in shooting much more often than civilians. But if you feel the LEO feels any different than you would when the bullets are coming at him, then I would suggest you should really take another look at who you think the average LEO is.

    Gunfights are pure gut wrenching fear and emotion. For anyone.

    I've also heard 24 time National USPSA Champion Rob Leathem say on video tape that he's not that well adept at defensive shooting and not sure how well he'd do in a real life shooting. Now maybe he's being modest, but he at least understands that the dynamics of a real gunfight is much different than the competition world.

    Training and competition helps prepare you. That's all. When the moment of truth comes, things often change.

    I'm also not saying, everyone is going to lose their mind and screw up. That's ridiculous. Good guys survive gun battles all the time. Lance Thomas is a prime example.

    Hey Bark'n Thanks for the feedback

    I understand your position, and opinion. In fact for the most part I agree with you. Nothing can totally prepare you for an armed confrontation. I agree that most people dont know what they will do until they become involved in one. I do believe that training... any training is better than no training at all. And practice... any practice is better than no practice at all. During repetitive practice most people will develop some muscle memory. That muscle memory... good or bad will be a significant factor in a gunfight. During training, and practice we also develop some thought patterns with regards to gunfighting... These thought habits will also play a a roll in the armed confrontation.

    However... Just because a situation developes unexpectedly, or happens in close quarters dont mean it will chaotic, or uncontrolled or frantic. No matter what you will always be in control of the situation... If you choose to panic, thats on you(not you personally but the civilian defender)

    While we cant possibly know what it's like to be shot at, without it actually happening,,, We can imagine what it's like. We can have an image in our head of what could happen. I believe that most people will use that mental exercise to guide them through the ral thing. Unless of course they panic...
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  13. #72
    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Spuk View Post
    Hey Bark'n Thanks for the feedback

    I understand your position, and opinion. In fact for the most part I agree with you. Nothing can totally prepare you for an armed confrontation. I agree that most people don't know what they will do until they become involved in one. I do believe that training... any training is better than no training at all. And practice... any practice is better than no practice at all. During repetitive practice most people will develop some muscle memory. That muscle memory... good or bad will be a significant factor in a gunfight. During training, and practice we also develop some thought patterns with regards to gunfighting... These thought habits will also play a a roll in the armed confrontation.

    However... Just because a situation developes unexpectedly, or happens in close quarters don't mean it will chaotic, or uncontrolled or frantic. No matter what you will always be in control of the situation... If you choose to panic, thats on you(not you personally but the civilian defender)

    While we cant possibly know what it's like to be shot at, without it actually happening,,, We can imagine what it's like. We can have an image in our head of what could happen. I believe that most people will use that mental exercise to guide them through the ral thing. Unless of course they panic...
    until you have been in your 1st bad auto accident you probably wondered if you would maintain control or....
    that was a big lesson into how you are deep down.

    training....pretty darn right, just so it is proper training, perhaps some guidance in the beginning to set you on the right road. same with practice. well said.

    keep a cool head and think the many aspects of what is unfolding around you--be in the center of the storm, yet be in control of yourself and extend that control about you.

    unless you doubt yourself, than the door to panic has been opened with the power of your mind; unfortunately you chose to let the fear in rather than have it to stay out. think as you wish to be, train as you feel it is needed of you . trust yourself to be as you have trained and you will react as you trained--you will rise to the occasion.


    thank you Secret Spunk for saying a lot of words i believe in also.
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  14. #73
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    S Spuk You are 100% correct. And it's true repetitive training helps immensely. One of the things it does is to train your mind to focus on what it has learned to do, which allows you to perform when challenged. Otherwise, your brain has nothing to focus on and panic usually ensues.

    I'm always up on training, and competition. I have a two hour drive each way for my closest IDPA group, and because of the economy and price of gas, I haven't taken the plunge yet. But it's something I would really like to invest in doing.

    When I addressed your post, I was merely pointing out that you can't lose sight of things being unexpected in a real fight for your life, and regarding counting rounds or never needing more than just one magazine is something you can not rely on. Historical data points out that just isn't the case.
    -Bark'n
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