Sunday, May 4, 2008

An Apology Due To My Lack of Blogging

Sorry for the lack of blogging over the past 4 days. Some nights when I get home from work I am just too pooped. Getting older I guess. Some other times I just don't have the inspiration. Other times it's both.

I have a few things lined up to blog about over the next few days. For instance I went to a Gun Show yesterday. Pretty much fun because I met an old friend there, but missed some others I wished could have made it. Not as much fun as in years gone by because of the lousy selection and prices, but that will be its own story.

I also have a new addition to the reptile collection. It won't be with me for long, as it was an adoption I took from someone to essentially adopt out to someone else. Easier for me to make sure it gets to someone who will care for it properly, and in the meantime I have another mouth to feed, and something else of which to snap some shots for your viewing pleasure.

Of course I could talk about politics, even though I am getting sick of it, I guess it needs talking about now and then.

Then there is the garden, that is starting to come along too. So as you can see I do have stuff lined up. Later for more blogging though, right now I have to clean my animals, clean the basement, do some gardening, and maybe refinish our front door if it looks as if the rain will hold off. I have to do all that before the liquor store closes because I'd like to pick up a bottle of Vodka. I have sworn off of beers and ales for the most part because I just started a diet. Again, that is another story to come.

All the best,
Glenn B

Ballseye's Frirearms Training & Tactics - The Rule of 45 (with video)

DISCLAIMER: Remember, the following is my opinion. I show you these things for legitimate firearms training purposes only such as self defense, and not for use in criminal or irresponsible activity. As usual, the earth has no gravity - it just sucks - mostly because of irresponsible and criminal assholes, and shark like lawyers, so here comes my disclaimer: If you read this blog or copy thereof, view the video or copy thereof, listen to the audio or copy thereof, you do so at your own risk and you must agree to the following before doing so. If you do not agree now, then stop reading and do not view the attached video or listen to the audio. Your viewing the video, and or listening to the audio, and or reading my written content herein (or copy(ies) thereof) constitute your agreement with all of my terms; including holding me harmless, and indemnifying me against any claim by you or a third party for any use of this information. You agree to be held liable for your use, in any manner, of this information, and for the use of this information by others to whom you pass on this information either directly or indirectly, in part or in whole, in any manner. If you use, copy, demonstrate, teach, discuss, direct anyone to, anything I have described, written about, shown video of, or presented audio of, you do so at your own risk and you assume all risk to you and to others in any way connected to you having done so whether or not caused directly or indirectly on your part, or caused in part or in whole by you. If you are under 18, please get the permission of a parent or legal guardian before viewing the following. If you have a problem with any of the above, cease from going any further in this blog, and do not view the attached video or listen to the audio.

Over at THR recently, someone who said she had small hands and therefore could not reach the controls on a pistol to operate it one handed asked a question about which type of pistol would be a good size for her. I red the other replies from other knowledgeable shooters. Many of them recommended fall frame pistols, those with single stack magazines, and I think some even recommended a revolver instead of a semi auto. I thought about it for a while before answering, and as I expected I would, I in essence told her almost all pistols are the right size for her.

I said that because I know there is a way around the problem of a small hand shooting a larger gripped semi-automatic pistol. This is of course within limits; and if your hand is so small as to make it either extremely impractical or virtually impossible then don't try this method with a large frame pistol. On the other hand, if you can properly grip grips of a medium to larger pistol, hold it properly, then fire it, the chances are that you can probably use what was taught to me as the rule of 45 to help make it easier to operate the magazine release, and the slide release of the pistol one handed.

Before you look at the video, let me tell you some of the things you may hear from others about why you should never operate a pistol's slide release single handed if you other hand is fully functional. They say hold the pistol in the ready to fire grip, and operate the slide release with the off hand. Fine if you can do it, not so fine if you cannot do it for a number of reasons. Many others will say, you should always slingshot the slide closed to reload, again usually requiring 2 hands, but I will answer it is not always possible. For instance your other hand is holding back a close in attacker; or you may be hanging onto to something to prevent your falling, or you may be pulling an innocent out of the line of fire, or whatever else could and does happen in the real world no matter how likely or unlikely it would be, but at the same time it is happening and you need to operate your pistol with one hand. Many also tell you to always operate the magazine release with the thumb of the off shooting hand, but again sometimes that hand could be occupied - for example it could already be coming up to the pistol with a fresh magazine for a reload, making for a faster reload than by first having it hit the mag release, then grab for the mag, then insert the mag. Even if it comes up mag in hand, and the other mag did not drop, you can use that hand or the mag in it to free the stuck magazine.

Then there are the times when a hand, for this example we will use the weak or off side shooting shooting hand (if you grip the pistol right handed and therefore fire with the trigger finger on that hand, then it is the strong hand, or on side shooting hand) is out of play. It does not function. Why - well heck you are in an armed confrontation. Three people have just attacked you, one fired shots and the bullets ripped through your left arm. You fired back several shots, you have made it to cover, you cannot feel your left arm or hand, it is not functional at all. Behind cover you take a couple more shots at your assailants taking out one of them. There are two more. You need to reload. What do you do? You operate the magazine release one handed to unload the spent magazine (or in the case of a 'break-in-the-combat' reload you may drop a partially full mag and exchange it with a full one). In any case like this, you need to get the magazine out with your strong side hand only. Let's say you are a female state trooper. You are on the petite side. Your hands are not all that big. Yet your issue sidearm is a Beretta 92FS. You have small hands, a pistol with a big grip, and a wide grip because of a double stack magazine. Your thumb barely reaches the magazine release button. What do you do?

Well if you want to do it fast, you tilt the pistol back toward you at a 45 degree angle. No the muzzle does not point at you. Instead of pointing straight out in front of you though, it is now pointing at about 45 degrees to your left. You accomplish this by holding the trigger finger along the right side of the frame, and curling it back a bit then pushing with it to start to angle the pistol, all the while as you other fingers grip with a somewhat relaxed grip on the pistol grips. In fact the other fingers can help shift the grips too, as will be seen in the attached video. Bear in mind I forgot to mention using the trigger finger to help angle the pistol in the audio portion of the show, so I mentioned here, though in one shot you will see that is what I have done. Once in the 45 degree position, your trigger finger can go right back along the side of the slide (always keeping it out of the trigger area), your strong side thumb - be you a small handed shoot, or a medium or even a large handed shooter - will now have better access to the magazine release, and come at it on a more powerful angle to release its grip on the mag. The same will be true of operating the slide release, all working virtually the same, and your thumb winding up on the release in a position better able to activate the release if you use the rule of 45. Of course there are a number of other methods to close the slide in a one handed reload, other than using your thumb on the slide release; however if you choose to release the slide with your thumb, then I suggest to remember to again use the rule of 45.

It is simple, straight forward (or should I say canted to 45) and quite effective. While a one handed thumb release of the slidelock is not necessarily the preferred manner of releasing the slide when you have only one functional hand, using the thumb of that same 'only' functional hand is the preferred way to operate the mag release. Using the rule of 45 makes it easier, from what I have seen, for the majority of those who have learned the technique to operate those functions regardless of small hands, medium hands or even large hands.

This technique requires practice - with an unloaded gun and an unloaded magazine. If you read this, then watched the video, then tried and could not get it right, you need to see a firearms instructor, who is familiar with this method, and who can show you how to get it right before you ever try this with live ammo in the pistol and or magazine. Always practice this in a safe environment and follow the rules of gun safety. Note that this only works when the mag release is midway up the side of the grip, preferable near the front strap. Don't try this with old fashioned European magazine releases at the bottom of the grip frame, or basically in the middle of the grips.

Bear in mind that this blog was in essence only about how to operate the magazine release and slide release using the rule of 45. There are many other ways to operate these two controls in emergency situations when you only have one hand available to you. I am not saying this is the best method or not the best method; but I do believe the rule of 45 to be a technique that will allow someone with smaller hands, to more easily reach both the magazine release and slide release on most modern day self defense pistols; and I believe it makes it easier for even those with medium to large sized hands.

All the best,
Glenn B