The benefits of becoming "one" with your sidearm

This is a discussion on The benefits of becoming "one" with your sidearm within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've purchased a new "potential" carry gun in the last few weeks. It's an XD45 service model [ 4 inch barrel and about the size ...

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Thread: The benefits of becoming "one" with your sidearm

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    The benefits of becoming "one" with your sidearm

    I've purchased a new "potential" carry gun in the last few weeks. It's an XD45 service model [ 4 inch barrel and about the size of my glock 17 ]. I've put roughly 200 rds downrange with it the first time out, and another 300+ rds through it in the last week.

    I shoot the damned thing well enough, and I've found myself carrying it when not working the gun shop once or twice, but leaving it home for my most favored G17 when going into the shop.

    It dawned on me the other night that I have subconsciously not felt "one" enough with the XD45 to know I can shoot it as instinctively or as well as the G17, even though I can shoot it well enough for most to not notice any skills lacking if they watched me firing it.

    That's been nagging me for the last few nights, really making me think about this, and I've come to some conclusions here. Keep in mind these are my own thoughts and do not reflect on anyone elses criteria or circumstances.

    I've shot the G17 through tens of thousands of rds in the last years. In that time it has become "one" with my hand when I hold it, my hand knows how to take it from it's resting place automatically without any thought. It's auto-pilot to scoop it out and shoot the G17 now without ever worrying where the bullets will hit. They hit exactly where I'm looking and want them to go instinctively.

    Not so with the new XD45. Sure, I can shoot the thing well, but not as much on auto-pilot as the gun I'm more familiar with, thats been in my hand longer than any other gun other than the 1911's I carried for almost 3 decades.

    It seems I can pick up any 1911 and shoot it on auto-pilot through not just carrying it for so long and becoming familiar with it in that regard, but firing tens and tens of thousands of rds through that platform till the gun had become and is "one" with me without any conscious thought to it's operation. As well, all I have to do is look to where I want the bullets to go, and they seem to just go there with the 1911's.

    So it has become the same where the feeling of being "one' with my G17's in the last few years is concerned. Though I haven't carried them anywhere near as long as I have the 1911 type pistols time wise, the G17's have sent tens of thousands of rds downrange over the years and specifically the last two have been very heavy on ammo expenditures through them in training and constantly carried for the most part over the same time frame.

    So, this is where I'm at at the moment with my carrying situation. I refuse to leave the G17 home and carry the new XD45 daily because it has not been in my hand long enough and put enough rds downrange to be "one" and shot subconsciously from the drawstroke to rds where I'm looking.

    I wonder how the members here feel about their own carry gun/s. Have you noticed you shoot one or another gun more proficiently with less conscious effort as I do with the 1911's and G17's?

    Can you shoot your chosen weapon platform without that conscious thought process, or do you have to "think" about the draw, the trigger control, the grip, and where that gun needs to be either one handed or two to put multiples of rds on potential threats?

    Are you willing to carry something you shoot less and maybe not as fast, or as well, or without really thinking about any of the above to put rds where you want them in lieu of another platform that you can say meets the above?

    Do you own any gun that meets my own criteria of subconscious effort for carry at this point? If so, what gun/s is/are they and how many rds do you think it took for you to get to that feeling of "one" as I have with the 1911's or Glock 17?

    When I wasn't one with the G17 quite yet, I still carried the 1911's until I knew I could shoot it as well and without that conscious thought process necessary when I'm not "one" with a handgun through familiarization of having it always with me and getting enough rds downrange to KNOW exactly what the gun and I are capable of together without having to think about what I'm doing.

    I'd like to hear from members on this idea of being truly "one" with the gun they carry and if you feel it necessary to be as proficient as you can be, therby cutting the odds further in your own favor should you ever have to pull it and use it under stress of a potential life and death encounter.

    Brownie
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    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor

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    Quote Originally Posted by AzQkr View Post
    I've shot the G17 through tens of thousands of rds in the last years. It's auto-pilot ... where the bullets will hit. They hit exactly where I'm looking and want them to go instinctively.
    I had a Browning BDM 9mm semi-auto like that. I'd shot well over 35K rounds with it, and it was simply a natural extension of my hand. Literally point-and-shoot. Nearly a tack driver. Sold the dang thing to get a truly concealable revolver for pocket carry, given a change of clothing/carry requirements at the time. Dumbest thing I ever did, selling that BDM, as it was shot perfectly, was tuned and well-worn, and I knew every ounce and angle of that gun. I've now got a second one, but it's not broken in or as balanced in the hand.

    Have you noticed you shoot one or another gun more proficiently with less conscious effort?
    Sure. My original BDM was like that. My relatively new CZ P01 9mm is like that as well. At 3300 rounds, it's nearly as easy to aim and shoot as instinctively as the BDM ever was. Not quite, but nearly so.

    ... or do you have to "think" about the draw, the trigger control, the grip, and where that gun needs to be ... to put multiples of rds on potential threats?
    The past 1000 rounds with the P01 has started feeling instinctive. Another 4-5K rounds, and I'll be "one" with the P01, I think. It's happening, definitely.

    Are you willing to carry something you shoot less and maybe not as fast, or as well, or without really thinking about any of the above?
    Absolutely not. The gun needs to fit the hand like a glove, feel like an extension of the hand, point naturally, be well-balanced, have easily-manipulated controls, and be accurate and reliable enough to depend on in a deadly situation. Anything else, IMO, is a waste of my time and potentially deadly. For the carry weapon, it's that important to me. In 16yrs of shooting and looking for the single exceptional carry weapon, I've found two that were perfect: the Browning BDM 9mm, and now the CZ P01 9mm. Nothing else compares, given what fits/works for my hand, skills and criteria.

    Do you own any gun that meets my own criteria of subconscious effort for carry at this point?
    The two guns above. The BDM has been for many years, now. The CZ is just entering "the zone" for subconscious comfort and point-and-shoot feel. Have yet to find anything else like it amongst the entire range of pistols that are made. These two are head and shoulders above the rest, for what fits my hand, eye, skill. Can't explain it any better than that.

    When I wasn't one with the G17 quite yet, I still carried the 1911's until I knew I could shoot it as well and without that conscious thought process ...
    Ditto. With the carry piece I'm relying on for when SHTF, that's the only criterion that matters. It had better get the job done, naturally, simply and quickly, else I could be toast. Don't like toast.

    I'd like to hear from members on this idea of being truly "one" with the gun ...
    OMmmmmmmm
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    Several actually.

    I wonder how the members here feel about their own carry gun/s. Have you noticed you shoot one or another gun more proficiently with less conscious effort as I do with the 1911's and G17's?

    Can you shoot your chosen weapon platform without that conscious thought process, or do you have to "think" about the draw, the trigger control, the grip, and where that gun needs to be either one handed or two to put multiples of rds on potential threats?

    Are you willing to carry something you shoot less and maybe not as fast, or as well, or without really thinking about any of the above to put rds where you want them in lieu of another platform that you can say meets the above?

    Do you own any gun that meets my own criteria of subconscious effort for carry at this point? If so, what gun/s is/are they and how many rds do you think it took for you to get to that feeling of "one" as I have with the 1911's or Glock 17?


    Brownie
    Last edited by QKShooter; February 11th, 2007 at 02:03 PM.
    The mind is the limiting factor

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    ccw9mm;

    Thanks for the reasoned responses and your own thoughts on the subject.

    Brownie
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    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor

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    I'll say this ......... and I agree with the principle Brownie....

    I have now for two years, solidly and unwaveringly carried my 226 ST. Only in the most extreme circumstances will I change that or downsize - it has to be down to some severe limitations on my carry options.

    I know some folks have to adapt and this may mean changing the carry option but my feeling is - know the gun's manual of arms like fully automatic - no need to think how it works. Then also have that fit in the hand seeming like it is an extension.

    This means that should (hopefully not) the crisis occur we all dread - the feel, use, pointability etc of the gun will be as close to instinct as is possible - all thought going into the scenario and surrounding details.

    I will not be too bothered if I sub the 226 for a 228 or even 220 - same manual of arms at least but - even so - the 226 ''feel'' is still unique and I'll stick with it hopefully now a long while yet.
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    Chris,
    I carried a 228 on duty for 5 years with one dept. It was a superb firearm, one of my favorites and I definately became one with it after some 35K through it in that time. It's ergos are superb.


    Brownie
    Last edited by QKShooter; February 10th, 2007 at 12:11 PM. Reason: Edit out misunderstanding
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    Great Thread.

    The key is finding what fits you and affords quick accurate hits.

    Once that gun /platform is found - stick with it.
    I believe in "becoming one with the gun" and then having redundancies of said gun. Mentors suggested one having Four of same gun.

    One for CCW, one for backup, one in the event one needs service, or if taken into Evidence because of lawful use of stopping an immediate threat - and one off site elsewhere.

    Chris is "redundant" with his Sigs. Another example-

    One can have 4 K frame dedicated .38spls that "they are one with".
    Model 10 snubby, Model 64 snubby, Model 64 3" RB HB, Model 64 4", Model 10 4", Model 10 6"...etc.

    Model 10 is blue and Model 64 is the same gun in stanless. One may choose the longer barrel lengths for Nightstand/ House/ Business and shorter snub/ 3" for carry.

    Confidence is a big part of feeling as one with equipment. If one does have a bad experience, questions themselves with equipment choices- no matter the quality of equipment - if one loses Confidence is hard to to trust said equipment.
    Often best to go through the process of finding something one does have confidence in, and becoming one with it.

    Steve
    Use Enough Gun

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    Confidence is a big part of feeling as one with equipment. If one does have a bad experience, questions themselves with equipment choices- no matter the quality of equipment - if one loses Confidence is hard to to trust said equipment.

    Often best to go through the process of finding something one does have confidence in, and becoming one with it.


    Great thought process Steve.

    Brownie
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    One with your gun; just like a Jedi with his light saber.
    "There is no such thing as too much ammo. Unless you're swimming!"

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    AzQkr,

    I know this is probably gonna open up a can of worms, but....

    I believe what you described is one of the banes of point shooting. It simply does not lend itself well to changing guns without a time of re-learning. In addition to your experience I want to add two more.

    I went to a point shooting school. I spent 6 days there. I saw a National IDPA champion try to transition from 'his' gun to a Glock. He shot high time after time. After about a day, he retired the Glock and went back to 'his' gun and was right on.

    The second is a personal experience. I had gone to Gunsite and shot some 1200 rounds in five days with a 1911 using an almost instantaneous flash sight picture. In one simulator, we had to transition to another gun as if ours had become disfunctional and could not be repaired in the field. I had a gun with a different feel, shape, DA/SA trigger and it didn't give me a moments problem.

    But, then when I got home, after five days of intense high performance training with a 1911, I strapped on my Glock, went to my range and the first draw out of the holster, using an instantaneous flash sight picture, I hit the X in my B-27 and proceeded to repeat the feat, although the next shots weren't that impressive, they were all faster than I could draw and fire with my 1911, and they were all in the X-ring. I'm not saying the X-ring is the goal in SD, normally you'd want a little bit more spread than that, but I wanted to see what I could do with a gun with a totally different feel and trigger mechanism.

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    Tangle;

    Certainly pistols have their own characteristics and "feel", and the more one is comfortable and familiar with that, the better they likely will shoot.

    The glocks are known to shoot high for some, the grip angle is different than that of others like the 1911, BHP's, etc. My g17 shot high for me as well, bit not enough in the distances of SD to make it matter for the most part.

    In the classes, I can be handed about any revo or pistol and shoot it about as well or as well right away as my own carry weapons at the distances we train at [ 30 feet and under ], and so regularly to demonstrate it is not the gun but the person using that gun who makes the difference at threat focused skills.

    I have my preferences in firearms like anyone else. Mine gravitate to the glocks [ 17 and 26 ], or the 1911's which I carried for over 20 years.

    I'd like to know what 6 day point shooting school you went to and what system you were shown. I ask as there are several known workable systems. QK, QF, FAS, and Fistfire that I'm aware of. Each has their strengths and of course weaknesses dependant on time and distance requirements.

    One can't be expected to shoot as well with a gun they are unfamiliar with initially, no matter if they use the sights or are shooting from the hip as in FAS or QK hip, or just below line of sight as in QK.

    By "can't be expected" I mean there will be a learning curve of that platform to be comfortable and gain the skills with that tool to shoot as well as a tool they are as familiar with and have that "oneness" with.

    The time it takes to become one with a firearm is as individual as the person him/herself. When I switched to the glocks, it took me some 2K through it to be where I was with the 1911's after a lot of years.

    Now, if I shoot the 1911's, [ rarely ] they seem foreign to me, but familiar at the same time [ if that makes sense ], and I don't shoot them anywhere near as well as I did when I put 500-1K a week through them.

    Brownie
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    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor

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    I think it would be inappropriate to disclose any more details about the school. The guy was a top notch shot - very impressive.

    I understand the learning curve thing about switching guns, I just haven't seen an appreciable difference in guns that I would have expected to. That includes as I mentioned, switching from one gun to another in the middle of a drill or changing guns after a week of training with another gun. In fact, when I switched to the Glock my hits were actually better and my times faster, hence zero learning curve involved.

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    I'm sorry Brownie, I kinda missed the larger point of your post - be at one with your gun. I certainly agree. I find that most gunowners, really don't spend enough time with their gun to even become familiar with it much less one with it. So I hope your message will be well received loud and clear and move us from talk to action.

    Another thing I find is that most didn't learn good shooting techniques to begin with. It would be advantageous to get some professional instruction that will allow us to improve as we shoot.

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    Tangle,

    I agree, most will not spend the time to really become one with their pistol of choice.

    Hope the thread gets people to think about that as you mention and gets them out shooting more often.

    I just got back from the range and banged out a quick 300 9mm's downrange with the g17 just to shoot some this week. Staying on top of the curve is the goal, it is easier to do that than fall behind the curve and get back to where you should be.

    10-4 on the school.

    Brownie
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    Hmm, interesting. I must be odd; I can become one with a lot of different guns. Yes, I have my preferred platforms and it does take some time to adjust from gun to gun. (Maybe a box of ammo worth of time)
    I can shoot almost any quality pistol decent enough, but I have become "one" with my 1911's and Glocks. My G19 is my first choice for CCW.
    Me and my Sigs have a special relationship. My 228 and 220 will become one with me if I make the effort to make them happy. The 228 is a little loose, she doesn’t even require dinner and movie, just some sweet talking and I'm in. I think she is trying to out the G19. The 220 is high maintenance, but once we become one, look out! We are one hot couple. The 220 is my first choice for my duty gun.
    My Kahrs are just like a rebound, they know they will never take the place of the others, but they are easy and get the job done all the same.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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