Enough Gun?

by Greg Ellifritz, Active Response Training Last week on both my Facebook page and in my Weekend Knowledge Dump, I linked to a news article describing the guns used by the terrorists in the recent attacks in France. Here’s an excerpt from my commentary on the article:

“Let’s total this up. The four attackers had body armor and radio communications. They were armed with numerous 9mm handguns, Kalashnikov rifles, a rocket launcher, 10 Molotov cocktails, 10 smoke grenades, a hand grenade, and 15 sticks of dynamite. These are the people we will be fighting in the fourth-generation warfare of the future. Why do you feel comfortable leaving your house armed only with a .38 snubnose and no spare ammo? “

That comment led one friend to ask me what type of weapon I carried when I go to the gym and how I conceal it. When I go to the gym, I carry a Glock 26 and spare magazine in a Desantis nylon fanny pack. I carry it around with me as I move between pieces of equipment and it is never out of my reach. This method of carry goes unnoticed by the rest of the gym patrons. When I informed folks about the gun I carry at the gym, it led to a robust discussion concerning what guns are “enough” to carry for defensive purposes. Here are my thoughts on the issue: I don’t think we should get all wrapped up in the issue of the “right” amount of gun and ammunition to carry. There is no “right.” It all depends on your abilities, goals, and risk assessment. Skills- Look at your abilities first. I can make 100 yard hits with a .38 snub. I can shoot a .38 snub better than most CCW licensees can shoot a full sized pistol. I can shoot a Glock 26 better than many cops on my department can shoot a carbine. That isn’t bragging. I’m middle of the pack in shooting abilities among my instructor friends. I know lots of people who can shoot way better than I can. The point I want to make is what I carry doesn’t have to be the same thing that you carry because we have different skill sets. pistol gun With that said, the lesser skilled among us need bigger guns and more ammo. The larger gun will enable more accurate and controllable fire. More ammo will allow them to stay in the fight longer if they miss more shots. The problem is the Dunning-Kruger effect… the lesser skilled folks don’t recognize their lack of skill and carry guns they don’t shoot well and often go without a reload. That’s the problem I was hinting at in the article link. Take time to honestly evaluate your skills and abilities. If you shoot once a year, you’re probably not going to stop multiple ISIL terrorists with your KelTec .32. A highly skilled shooter with a small gun can be a formidable adversary. I’m not saying that small guns don’t have a defensive role. They do. They just aren’t good for counter-terrorism purposes in the hands of a marginally skilled shooter and tactician. And if the only training you’ve received is your CCW class, you ARE a marginally skilled shooter and tactician. You just may not know it yet. Hopefully you will figure it out before you take on a bunch of terrorists armed with rifles using your five-shot revolver. Goals- Is my goal to seek out and destroy ISIL terrorists as part of my job? If so, I’m going to kit up with rifle plates, a carbine, 8 spare magazines, and a full sized pistol. If my goal isn’t to seek and destroy, but only to get myself and family to safety during an unexpected ISIL attack on the shopping mall, a Glock 26 might be just enough gun to provide some cover fire in order to get away. If my goal is to escape and maybe take a few terrorists out if given the opportunity (a goal which I suspect most readers would likely resonate with), I might want a gun with a longer sight radius than a Glock 26 and some extra ammo. What is your mission? Does your gear support it? Continue Reading>>>

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