20 February 2013

Why you need a Blue Gun

Several months ago I had a client contact me about doing a private course for him and a group of friends in Texas.  As usual, I provided him with a list of things each person would need for the course.  Knowing that money does not grow on trees, this list is minimal, and includes things that the attendee will be able to use after the class to continue training.  For any classes involving handguns, the #1 thing on the list is a Blue Gun that not only matches their carry gun but also fits in the same holster.  I am always surprised at how many people need convincing that they need a Blue Gun to train realistically.

The primary cause of this is the concentration people place on weapon manipulation and marksmanship.  People are obsessed with the speed at which they put holes into a stationary piece of cardboard and change magazines.  These things are foundational and basic, but people seem to believe they are the most important part of using a handgun for personal protection; the truth is that the two most important things are why and how.  Use of a live firearm, a firearm with a barrel insert, a Simmunition gun, or airsoft is no substitute for a Blue Gun for much of this training.  You prevent the loss of valuable training time because everyone can see that all guns in the training environment are Blue Guns.  Whether or not a live gun has been down loaded, or a training barrel is inserted, everyone spends more time checking and looking at guns for safety than learning.  The second reason is that nobody wants to take the chance of dropping a weapon on the ground, whether it be a real gun or airsoft.  The sound of a gun hitting the ground is always followed by the knowledge that it will cost money.  At this point, some will ask why a weapon would ever be dropped.  If your training does not result in weapons being dropped, you are not training realistically.

The best way to train to deploy your gun against a living, breathing attacker is to draw it against a living, breathing attacker.  There is NO substitute for this.  This is where people whose previous training has consisted of all live fire, square range training find out that-

  •         You often end up with a very poor grip out of the holster and you either need to fix it or use it.
  •        That “jiggling” the gun in your hand to fix the grips often leads to dropped guns.
  •         That sometimes you get a hand full of concealment garment of your pistol and the only way to fix it is with your off hand.  I have never seen anyone self-correct this the first time it happens.
  •       That the 21 foot drill is very misunderstood and misused.
  •         That sometimes you drop or toss your gun during the draw.
  •         That perfect draws only exist on the range.
  •         That rushing to put both hands on the gun increases task fixation and decreases situational awareness.   
The above list is observations before the bad guy even touches you.  Then you have things like:
  •         An extended arm at contact distance allows the bad guy to easily push the muzzle away from his silhouette using nothing more than his natural protective response.
  •         That by simply hitting or slamming you into a wall or vehicle, the bad guy can cause you to drop your gun.
  •         That a bad guy pinning you against the floor or wall can prevent or hinder you from drawing your pistol.  All carry options are not prevented equal.
  •         That to survive an impact or edged weapon attack, you will need to use your off hand for something besides holding the gun.
During these physical contact drills the bad guy also gets feed back on things like timing and distance to fouling someone trying to draw a gun on them.

Solid force on force scenarios should involve both drills and scenarios.  Drills let you turn words into sentences, and scenarios allow you to turn sentences into paragraphs.  Scenarios that involve a gun being presented should also include the person doing so to justify that and subsequent actions.

So for those wanting to train in spite of the cost and availibity of ammunition, it would seem that a Blue Gun is a good investment.

Whenever using a Blue Gun for force on force training be sure to use a Dremel tool to remove the front sight to avoid injury.

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