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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anybody else entered either a surprise competitive stage or a training stage and run the damn gun dry, because you're so focused on moving and target acquisition? I worry that IPSC/IDPA make people too focused on the "clock," therefore, our brains aren't thinking about the really crucial stuff, like finding cover and keeping the gun topped off.

Maybe I'll do better next time.....hope so.
 

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fremont,
Think of it this way, when you shoot an IDPA or IPSC stage, you are under pressure from the clock, and your peers, to a certain extent. Mostly the clock though.
If you are in a SHTF situation, you are under pressure from a different clock. In that case, you are trying to survive for as long as possible.
While IDPA or IPSC matches are no substitute for experience, either can "help" you maintain your cool under pressure. If you approach the stages from a tactical standpoint, rather than from a game standpoint. Your stage times will likely increase but, your SHTF survivability will most likely increase.
If you end up out in the open, with a dry gun, what do you do? Try to execute a speed reload? Find cover? Reload on the move? Assess the situation and go from there? Personally, I think I would try to do all of the above, at the same time.
I said all that to say this, use the clock pressure as a training tool but, DO NOT think that you can shoot in these matches, and be able to go out on the street, and preform as well. IDPA specifically states that their matches are no substitute for proper training.

Steve

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"Not having thought what should have been thought, not having said what should have been said, not doing what should have been done, I beg thee forgive me, O Father." paraphrase from the 13th Warrior
 

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The gun failed to fire because the slide had locked back due to an empty magazine. I always trained to reload from "slide lock" and did so... Lately I have (again) heard it said that "you will revert to training" during stressfull situatations...and I must agree. Train to reload an empty gun. A "tactical" reload is nice, but...
 

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Originally posted by fremont:
Has anybody else entered either a surprise competitive stage or a training stage and run the damn gun dry, because you're so focused on moving and target acquisition? I worry that IPSC/IDPA make people too focused on the "clock," therefore, our brains aren't thinking about the really crucial stuff, like finding cover and keeping the gun topped off.

Maybe I'll do better next time.....hope so.
No, this has never happened to me (yeah right
). I don't feel too bad though. I was running students through the funhouse at Gunsite one time and one fellow ran dry twice and did not have a position of cover... he was the commander of a very prominent SWAT team. We all make mistakes.

Carry on,
Jim Higginbotham
 

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I don't shoot in competition - only ever done so in the military.

When in dire straits, the fastest reload is probably the NY reload. While some may scoff at the idea of carrying two identical primary pistols, I really like the idea. It may seem impractical - say concealed carry in hot weather for persons of small stature who have difficulty concealing just one. But many of the smaller guns don't take up that much more room than two hi-cap mags in a double pouch or holder (You can can near abouts buy a second gun for the cost of several pre-ban mags too!). In cool or cold weather though it isn't a problem at all.

I am surprized that no one (that I know of) markets spare mag holders designed for the ankle carry. While not practical for the standing-out-in-the-open gunfight, they would be just fine for reloads once the parties involves are behind cover.
 

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I went to Gunsite back when getting caught with one's slide locked open in one of the simulators would cost the student a case of beer. This was done in fun, but also to stress to the student to keep track of his ammo. A worthy aim IMO.

That said, there is nothing wrong with shooting to slide lock IF there are targets to engage. If we postulate a 7+1 capacity weapon; why would you pause after having fired 7 rounds, to execute an IPSC-style speedload, when the 8th and final round in the pistol might have solved the problem? I think it's better to shoot to slide-lock and then perform an emergency load at that point. It should go without saying that one should be utilizing cover and/or moving if those options are available.

While it is better to load when we want to, rather than have to, if the fight is still on, don't save that chamber round...shoot it.

Rosco
 

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This is the old question of whether or not you can/will count rounds in a gunfight, I guess. Logic and training tells us to reload when possible, that makes sense. Second choice: when necessary. If things are hot and heavy and it is not possible, I think most of us will shoot to slide lock.... I know I would be more interested in the mechanics of shooting and staying out of the way of incoming than in counting my shots. If I shot the gun dry in a fight I would not be embarrassed. I do it in matches sometimes, sometimes consciously and sometimes not. No harm done. We should know how to reload both ways, well.

I do not very much believe in the IDPA tac reloads. The stats seem to be telling us that protracted gunfights are very rare, so it's not likely to come up. If it does, I would rather make a 2 or 3 second reload and be ready to go again, than stretch the reload by a second or two or three and save that one or two rounds in the mag. On the other hand it probably has not done me harm to reload per IDPA in IDPA matches.
 

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I think it is pretty obvious that anyone who shoots their pistol (or any other gun) dry, out in the open, with one or more armed thugs is "in trouble".

A very bad position to be in, but there are plenty of hypothetical scenarios, and no doubt ones experienced by a good few to testify about. This is why I like the NY reload idea so much.

The only way to minimize the chances of getting in such a predicament is (if possible) not to let yourself get in such a position - or - precise shooting if you do. Even a 7-rd + 1 in the chamber should equal at least two, preferably three inactive thugs. If there are more than three armed thugs, and you are out in the open, you better make each shot count - or bank on at least one reload of some kind. Either that or pray hard and run a wild zig-zag to the nearest cover.
 

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Originally posted by Ned Christiansen:
This is the old question of whether or not you can/will count rounds in a gunfight, I guess. Logic and training tells us to reload when possible, that makes sense. Second choice: when necessary. <snip>


That pretty much hits the nail on the head Ned.

I tell students that they probably won't know how many rounds are left in their weapon but, if they are lucky, they will know if they have fired their pistol.

If you have fired and there are no immediate threats then reload. I prefer the old fashioned speed load - you can always pick up your magazine - but if I am satisfied that the fight is over (and that is a pretty chancy assumption) then a "tactical load" may not be untoward. I don't suppose I need to point out that if you are not already behind cover, if it is available, then you need to get there!

The idea of performing a "tac-load" under fire (even if you have cover) is something I have a little difficulty understanding unless it is a very esoteric situation.

Good thoughts!
cordially,
Jim Higginbotham
 

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The idea of performing a "tac-load" under fire (even if you have cover) is something I have a little difficulty understanding unless it is a very esoteric situation.
I couldn't agree more Jim. From discussions I have had with various people, I get the impression that they believe IDPA, and IPSC, to a lesser degree, are acceptable substitutes for real training. Unfortunatly, they are wrong. IDPA and IPSC both are good platforms for skills building, and, if you are so inclined, testing out different tactics.

Respectfully,
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm not clear on why it's so difficult to imagine a tac-reload while behind cover and still arguably in a fight. Why do schools like Thunder Ranch teach this? What's wrong with instilling this into the muscle memory of students, including LEOs?

And, I certainly don't think IDPA, or its members, should be blamed for having CoFs which have shooters performing tac reloads under time pressure because some instructors might teach to drop a partially-fired mag on the deck.
 

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The objective in a tac reload is to keep the pistol topped up whenever possible. If you are not firing, top it up. With training, this becomes a natural process, which takes little time and no thought.

Counting rounds is not the issue. If you have fired, but are not presently firing, top it up.

Gunsite teaches to perform the tac reload when the "action is over or there is a lull in the action". Once this becomes ingrained, you will use whatever opportunities present themselves to reload, and the only time you will ever see slide-lock is when there is an uninterrupted requirement to fire an entire load, which is highly unlikely in the real world.
 

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Hhhhmmmm...
It seems that I have been a very bad boy and owe cases of beer.

I ran a Beretta dry three times while standing in a state of shock, then running (diving actually) for cover, covering other good guys and trying to “stop the threat” from some BG’s (read kill the sods in there).

Training never went like this…

It went grab shoot, shoot, jump, shoot, shoot, (16 rounds gone) slide lock (one case of good New Zealand beer) , ****, ****, reload, shoot, shoot (15 rounds I swear I pulled the trigger only twice) slide lock, bloody hell, (two cases), reload shoot, shoot, slide lock (will a keg do?) reload shoot, shoot, (silence) top off with last mag. Start checking for wrigglers.

Did I hit anything at all??? Am I hit???

Lets go drink some beer…

Not the right way but the reality.


Concerned Non-Citizen


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"Both the oligarch and the tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms."
- Aristotle, "Politics"
 

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The Modern Technique of the pistol endeavors to teach the combat triad: mindset, gunhandling and marksmanship.

The description above is a nearly perfect example of a failure in a three.

People may react that way often, but they do not always, and they do not have to. This is why we train.
 

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In the Cooper's classic pamphlet PRINCIPLES OF PERSONAL DEFENSE, he mentions a student who was attcked by multiple bad guys as he arrived home from a night on the town. The student fired 22 rounds (if I recall correctly...I would assume a fully loaded 1911 with 2 spare mags) in much less time than it takes to tell it. He hit nothing, but put his attackers to flight. Cooper notes that this student forgot all of the principles of personal defense except one...aggressiveness. In this case, it was enough.

Not something one should count on, however.

Rosco
 

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"It all depends on the terrain" is an old military term learned in the late forties.

Reloads depend on the situation. I would rather not shoot to slide lock, and second gun is fine, depending on the location of same. Hopefully I will be able to reload from cover, or at least concealment.

Reloads require practice, either slide lock or one where you plan to keep the magazine, and some guns reload quicker/slower. The 1911 is fast as is the P7, the BHP/Glock tend to be slower for me.

Avoidance is still the name of the game.

GLV
 

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The reality of a surprise deadly force situation can be overwhelming.
The situation I described was a good example of dealing with the circumstances as they happened. We were attacked while in a group and completely taken by surprise. There was no indication of any threat (perhaps being caught off guard was our gravest mistake). This point becomes moot though when the shooting starts. Who messed up who should have done what, become quickly who will get out alive.

Rosco quickly saw the point I was trying to make that in some cases the ability to get bullets out of the gun in a hurry can be the best tactic available. In this situation we were caught standing "flat footed". In my experience it is much harder for the bad guy to hit you if you are moving AND firing. Not necessarily firing at him but just firing, (now I know that’s going to get some responses). Shooters IMHO seem to become less accurate when their opponents are firing something in some direction. Hence emptying a 9mm Beretta three times, (remember it was a 9mm and not a .45 had it been a .45 I probably would have to expend only two bullets). The reality is that the tactics, or lack thereof worked in a real threat situation and I escaped with only powder burns and a headache.

Again this is something that needs to be experienced to be understood.

If I could have done it again I imagine the element of surprise again would have dashed my tactics on the harsh rocks of reality, because in this situation I was the unprepared (if you can call carrying a loaded sidearm unprepared). I have trained for years for combat scenarios and have found my training has worked well in almost every case.

KLN said "The objective in a tac reload is to keep the pistol topped up whenever possible. If you are not firing, top it up."

I never once stopped firing until half way through the fourth mag. So reloading methods were sound.

Mindset: Shock. Recognition of a threat, (the bullets coming in my direction). Aggressive response to alleviate the threat. Correct aggressive mindset.

Gun handling: was good (again I am critiquing myself here) reloading was accomplished when possible quickly and when necessary.

Marksmanship: Hhhhmmm Difficult to accurately ascertain here. There were multiple threats and all were eliminated rather quickly. The majority of my rounds dispatched were to keep the hostiles taking cover while the friendlies found cover.

“You may prefer to fill the air with lead, I much prefer one round to the head.”

However if one can’t get the “head” I suggest filling the air with lead.

Well enuf said.


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"Both the oligarch and the tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms."
- Aristotle, "Politics"
 

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Patriot,

Well .. we can call it the proverbial psychological one-sho... (er many shots was it?) shots stop!
 
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