Hands and feet inside at all times: Vehicle Gunfighting Class Review #2

| July 16, 2014 | 1 Comments

Please read part one of my vehicle gunfighting class here.

Americans spend an average of 4 – 6 years of their life inside of a car. Since I started my relationship with the She-Shepherd several years ago, I started driving around with a full family inside.

The majority of my driving habits changed whenever they were in the car. I am especially fond of her youngest, and so the following drill held special gravity for me.

The drill seemed simple: engage an immediate threat on the passenger side window. Simple, right?

Insert a child-sized dummy into the mix, and everything changed — just like my driving habits when the kids are inside. It didn’t “help” that the dummy was about the size of the She-Shepherd’s youngest.

The biggest change was having another “occupant” inside. Not only did we have to be careful about covering ourselves with the muzzle, we had another person to deal with. A kid.

Additionally, we had to be concerned about the occupant moving around once the action started. Students had three options, based on their skills, biomechanics, and mindset:

  1. Switch to a left-handed shooting position and engage while bracing / constraining the occupant with the right hand.
  2. Shoot with their right hand (or both hands, depending on their bodies and flexibility), bracing the occupant with the right forearm.
  3. Shoot with their right hand (or both hands, depending on their bodies and flexibility), with floating the firearm in the passenger compartment in front of the occupant.

While the students were not assessed based on the option they chose by the instructors, I have ranked them in order of aptitude and safety. I believe you cannot be reasonable sure that any occupant, regardless of age or mindset, will stay still during an engagement. As such, you must brace them somehow so that they move as little as possible.

I believe the first option is the best, as it gives you the most control over the occupant as well as distance between the occupant and the weapon.

The second option offers some ability to push the occupant into place, but for most students also put the muzzle and/or ejection port near the face of the occupant.

The third option seems risky, especially if the occupant reflexively cringes, ducks, or throws their hands up to cover themselves.

This drill was the most sobering for me of the day. I kept thinking of the youngest in the front seat when the class went through the drill one student at a time. I ran a camera for everyone, so I got to see up close how different people were able to perform.

Worse yet, I had a bit of an issue running my drills, which you can see in the video below.

My thoughts on my performance:

  • The second worst thing to hear in a situation like this is click. I am pretty sure I know why I had this problem. I reloaded after my slower speed drill and probably didn’t fully seat the magazine. I run the slide after a reload to make sure there’s a round in the chamber, but all I did was eject the round in the pipe. I basically threw my in-battery round away without pulling a new round from the improperly seated magazine. Stupid mistake.
  • I also flinched when I pulled the trigger. Did you see that? NEEDS IMPROVEMENT.
  • On the other hand, I did handle the malfunction quickly and got back on target.
  • My last run was good, and I was pleased with my response time, handling, shooting, and accuracy.

This scenario validates my training both for carrying two pistols (one on each side of my body) as well as the training I received from QSI and Suarez International about shooting with either hand. I also think more students should take a full handgun class with their opposite hand and practice at home.

It’s okay that not everyone was comfortable doing the left-hand only technique. After all, we go to class to learn about ourselves as much as we go to learn new things. However, I do think it’s something everyone should strive for. Given the students in attendance and the many times I’ve trained with them, I was surprised more of them didn’t complete the drill left handed.

I wish there was another vehicle class on the books for the year; maybe I’ll be able to do some sort of Airsoft-based training in the garage this fall before it gets too cold for the gas.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

1 Comment on "Hands and feet inside at all times: Vehicle Gunfighting Class Review #2"

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  1. B R Kurtz B R Kurtz says:

    We all want to protect our kids; but few actually train for it. Great post–lots to think about and TRAIN

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