PISTOL GUNFIGHTING Feed

Simply out of curiosity, we held a one day Double Action Pistol Training Day here in Prescott. As expected, a one day specialty deal like this didn't yield the usual twenty students with a waiting list. We had seven students with some additional staff and myself for about ten shooters. We spent a few hours tuning up the DA/SA concept. We discussed the nature of the DA and how to use it effectively. Then we worked on accuracy from 5 yards out to 100 yards. Finally we did some shooting drills my SWAT unit used as well as a few drills we learned from USMC SOTG when our unit attended their CQB school way back in the Paleolithic Era. These last were simply to show what was possible with a double action compared to the striker fired pistols most often seen today. We had mostly SIG pistols in the 226/229 variety with one Langdon Beretta, one Wilson Beretta and one HK P30L. Incidentally, we may do an article on this later. The HK P30L was a very nice pistol with... Read more →


I have a spot in my heart for the SIG P226. It was my first semi-auto duty pistol back in 1988. Coming from the world of revolvers, the SIG was like having stolen alien technology from the future in your holster. As a point of comparison, prior to the SIG, I went into battle every night with a revolver and three extra speed loaders (a whopping 24 rounds in total). With the SIG I had (with a third magazine on my belt) 61 rounds at my disposal. Additionally, while I shot Distinguished Expert (297-300) in the LASD quarterly qualification with the revolver, it took hard work. I did it easily with the P226 and the 4-pound single action trigger (there was no policy preventing single action usage). Some history. In 1975, SIG entered into an agreement with German gun manufacturer J.P. Sauer & Sohn to develop and market a new handgun which became the P220. The P220 was the first SIG Sauer handgun sold in the USA. It was marketed initially by Browning as the Browning BDA. The SIG Sauer... Read more →


The Beretta 92 burst onto the scene in the mid 1980s. It was the gun the 1911 crowd loved to hate. Cats and dogs were predicted to move in together when this was adopted by the US Military as the M9. The "crunchenticker", is what it was called by the Colt 45 devotees, and anyone that brought it to class was met with derision and ridicule by the staff at the prominent gun schools of the day. But nearly 30 years later it is still around. I prefer Glocks, and SIGs if working DA pistols, but a professional man-at-arms can do well with anything that is put in his hands. I never seriously carried the Beretta, but I bought one from the now defunct B&B sales in North Hollywood in direct preparation for a contract in Italy with Benelli. Along with learning Italian it seemed like the professional thing to do. I had carried a S&W 5906 for years so I was not unfamiliar with the system. I trained up with it and carried one just like it in 9x21... Read more →


I think that we have entered into an era where everybody thinks they already know everything, and the study of gunfighting is no different. The way to use the pistol's trigger to its greatest utility is not up for debate, opinions, or discussions. The trigger's use is determined by its design. A 1911 trigger is different from that on a Beretta 92. And a Glock trigger is different still. The trigger that comes on a mass produced factory pistol will never be optimal, but it will generally be safe. But safe is relative and overachievers want better...but better within reason. Lets look at its phases and what constitutes the better trigger systems available to you on a combat pistol today. Trigger Take-Up (also referred to as Pre-Travel) Take-Up is any movement of the trigger toward you that does not cause the sear or striker to move and does not engage the mainspring. Take-up is most evident in a two stage trigger. The initial movement from the resting position up to the point where you feel resistance is Take-Up. The point... Read more →


Ever since Glock made its debut into the LE world back in the late 1980s, there has been a quest to "perfect" its trigger. In truth, compared to many of the triggers on police pistols at the time, the Glock trigger was a huge advancement. But boy's being boys, the tinkering began. The quest seemed to take the path of making the triggers as light, and with as minimal take-up, as possible. Then with a good amount of judicious polishing, the officer ended up with a completely unsafe pistol, albeit with a wondrous trigger. And of course, since every Glock owner fancies himself a qualified gunsmith the moment they sign that 4473, the quest caught like chicken pox at a public school. TRIGGER MECHANICS - THE FEEL Now look...you can have a great trigger that is quite safe on a Glock, but you must accept that it will never have a trigger like a tuned 1911 or a single action revolver. But lets define the components parts of the trigger so you understand what is possible with a great Glock... Read more →


Although the Glock (and its emulative systems such as the M&P and CZ P-10) tend to be the dominant pistols in the market, I am aware that not everyone selects or prefers it. I recently had a consulting contract where the shooters were using the SIG P226 (don't ask). And I have seen more and more police special units select that type of weapon, notably the CZ-75 and CZ P07. Is the DA pistol making a comeback? Maybe. Let's examine why that might be. And no...I am not going to sell all my Glocks. You are the weapon...your pistol is only a tool. And nobody says you can't have several tools. My first police semi-auto was a SIG P-226 way back in 1988. I shot Distinguished Expert with it and carried it for years. Later when the 3rd generation S&W was selected by the agency I worked with, I used that. It was like a rough Beretta 92. I took that weapon to Gunsite in 1990 and not only shot the top score in the class but won the shoot... Read more →


Novices concentrate on the "how" of something - Masters concentrate on the "why". You see it martial arts training all the time. Students in lines executing one movement or another, emulating the instructor. The same thing is seen in the firearms world. Lots of guys know "how" to - for example - reload the handgun, and they are spitting images of their instructor. But unless they understand "why" it is important to do it that way, they don't really know anything other than to mimic what somebody else has taught them. And it gets worse when that instructor didn't know either. Just as Karate's moves have applications that must be learned and understood, the same must be said about the far simpler martial science of pistol fighting. Often we will see somebody emulating a competition technique, or a technique that is workable only when you are a member of a team. The reasons for this usually end up with - "it looks cool". If that is the sum total of your goal in training - looking cool - or winning... Read more →


For the past few years we have mentioned the importance of mindlessness, or the ability to react skillfully, perfectly and spontaneously to a threat. We have also discussed the way to attain those skills, to develop the pattern-less/system-less ability to improvise to an unexpected event. Those attributes, by the way, are the keys to winning the reactive fight. I don't care how well or accurately you shoot. If you do not have the ability to move on demand, quickly and dynamically as you draw the weapon and counter attack, you will lose and you will die. We show that time and time again in our force on force sessions. In the reactive realm it is all about timing and about not getting shot. As we focused harder and deeper on the development of the gunfighter it became clearer that the method to get our gunfighters to the level we wanted them to be was not via more range training, nor more force on force. The methodology had been laid out a long time ago and it was something that some... Read more →