19 Sep 98, Saturday, 7:15AM

Clarification on draw technique:

The retention draw is what we’ve been doing all along with our rock-and-lock stage. The idea is to draw the pistol up and keep it close to the body as the first step, then extend if indicated. My friends in Africa indicate that people who have been trained to execute a draw which we would call bowing, scooping, and/or applauding have routinely lost their weapons to gun grabbers. The gun grabbers wait until the officer’s pistol is extended away from the body but still pointed downward and still only in one hand, then they quickly move in on the outside and easily disarm the officer before he can get his other hand on the weapon or get it pointed in the direction of the bad guy.

So, our training has not changed a great deal in that regard, except that I now emphasize the importance of keeping retention in mind during the entire maneuver. That is, students must keep the pistol close to the body any time it is in only one hand. Extension is always done with both hands on the pistol. Also, students must be instructed to get the muzzle of the pistol pointed in the direction of the bad guy as quickly after it clears the holster as possible, while the gun is still close to the body and thus difficult to dislodge.

Lateral movement is done at the same time the draw is executed. That is, they are done simultaneously. We routinely do this now with pistols, rifles, and shotguns. The shooter pauses only long enough to fire several times, then moves again. Movement is hopefully in the direction of cover, but movement, by itself, greatly enhances survivability.

I haven’t had students worry too much with regard to the particular direction the lateral move, although one could argue for an automatic left movement, since most right-handed bad guys will miss low and left. I have students move in both directions, since obstacles may prevent movement one direction or another.

Tactical shotgun ammunition:

In our shotgun classes, many of our students now bring and use tactical buckshot and slugs. The term “tactical” is a euphemism for “reduced recoil,” which is another euphemism for reduced velocity. (I’m tempted to call Federal and order some non-tactical buckshot) In order to achieve reduced recoil, manufacturers have no choice but to reduce velocity, in most cases by several hundred feet per second. The result is a twelve-gauge shotgun which is genuinely useable by people of small stature. That is the good news. The bad news is that we have found tactical buckshot and particularly tactical slugs to be unduly wimpy.

00 buckshot typically has a low penetration capability anyway, but tactical 00 buckshot penetrates almost nothing! It’s penetration potential is on par with that of #4 buckshot. However, it does produce consistently tight, uniform patterns, so the trade-off may still be arguable. Nevertheless, I now encourage small-statured shooters to look at twenty-gauge shotguns. It’s similar to shooting tactical buckshot out of an twelve-gauge shotgun, but twenty-gauge shotguns are shorter, slimmer, and lighter. I particularly like the Remington 1100 in twenty gauge.

In demonstrations on cars, it is almost always possible to shoot a standard, twelve-gauge slug into a car door, across the car’s interior, and out the door on the opposite side. Slugs have always had extraordinary penetration capability. In the same demonstration, Tactical slugs rarely make it through even one door! It seems the point has been lost. I’m not sure I’d be anxious to shoot fifty standard slugs in a single sitting, but, if penetration potential is one reason we inventory slugs, Tactical slugs would appear to be pointless.