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Your Tactical Training Scenario: In-Hand Weapons Retention

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Written by: Greg Ellifritz

 

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Have you ever thought about what you would do if a criminal lunged for your gun as you were holding him at gunpoint?  That happened to a police officer last week with very serious consequences.  The cop and another citizen were both shot.  Read about the incident at the link below:

$18K Robbery led to Phoenix Officer, Civilian shot

 

According to the article, a man robbed a strip club employee and was confronted by the police officer:

 

“Officer goes towards him with his gun drawn and all of the sudden, the suspect turned around and started fighting with the officer,” said Chuck Parke, a witness.

Parke says he saw Sharp grab Officer Sefranka’s gun and started firing, shooting the posse volunteer who jumped in to help.  That volunteer is also in critical condition.  Police say Sharp then shot Sefranka and took off.

 

This type of gun grab can sometimes be prevented by keeping a longer distance between you and the criminal you are confronting.  It can also me reduced by using a retention position.  But distance and retention do not always work.  Sometimes you can’t get away.  Sometimes the bad guy is on you before you can pull the gun back to retention.  Bad things happen in gunfights.

 

When within arm's reach of criminal, using a retention position like this will reduce the chance that your gun is grabbed.

When within arm’s reach of criminal, using a retention position like this will reduce the chance that your gun is grabbed.

 

Have you thought about what you might do?

 

One of the more common answers I get to this question is “I’d just shoot him!”  I would agree that shooting someone who is attempting to take your firearms away from you is both a legally and tactically sound decision.  The problem occurs when it doesn’t work…

 

When within arm’s reach you have essentially no standoff distance to react to his attack.  At this close range, action beats reaction.  The criminal is likely to be able to swat your gun away or just avert the muzzle off his body before you can pull the trigger.

 

Once the bad guy gets a hold on your gun, you have at best a single shot weapon.  You may not be able to fire the gun at all if he is holding your revolver cylinder tightly or has knocked your autopistol slide out of battery.  If you do get a shot off with your autopistol, it will jam when he is holding on to the slide.

 

We need something besides “I’d just shoot him!” as a solution…

 

If you can’t shoot the criminal or your shot doesn’t stop him, try this:

 

1) Turn your  gun hand palm up, twisting the gun in his hand and loosening his grip.  This will probably also cut him if you have a sharp front sight.

Turning the gun hand palm up, loosens the attacker's grip and gives you better range of motion for the upcoming pull

Turning the gun hand palm up, loosens the attacker’s grip and gives you better range of motion for the upcoming pull

 

 2) Step backwards with your gun side leg and pull the pistol back and down with all of your body weight.

 

Then use all your body weight to pull the gun back and down.

Then use all your body weight to pull the gun back and down.

 

3) If that doesn’t work, repeat the steps, but start out with a muzzle strike (jamming the muzzle into his teeth) towards his face first.

 

 

You should have your gun back now.  If you are carrying an autopistol, tap and rack to clear the likely malfunction as you get distance from the threat.

 

You’ll need to practice this a few times before you get it down.  Find a willing training partner and some gloves.  The front sight will tear up the attacker’s hands in a hurry.  Use a training pistol or triple check to ensure that your gun is unloaded and then give it a try.  You should have the technique down within a couple repetitions.

 

 

Rope threaded down the barrel and out the mag well prevents a cartridge from chambering and provides instant visual assurance that the gun is "clear"

Rope threaded down the barrel and out the mag well prevents a cartridge from chambering and provides instant visual assurance that the gun is “clear”

 

 

 Simple and easy techniques like this should be included in your training regimen.  Remember, you are in a fight…not just a gun fight.  Make sure you are prepared to handle any situation that you may encounter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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