Too Close to Home: The Tragic Tale of an Unintentional Shooting
This is the true story of one of my handgun students who was involved in an unintentional shooting. He accidentally shot his brother in the leg with a rifle.
I heard about this incident several months after it had occurred, and sent an email to the shooter, let's call him JC. He had graduated from of one of my handgun training classes a few years before this event took place.
He replied to my email with the details of the incident, and offered his gracious permission for me to publish his story.
As he describes, there were several factors which culminated in this tragedy. Remove any one of them, and this unintentional shooting would not have happened.
Here is his story, as he described it in an email he sent to me.
Function and Safety Checks for a 1911 Pistol
Be Sure Your Firearm Is Functioning Properly and Safely.
Perform these Function and Safety Checks for a 1911 Pistol after every cleaning, or partial disassembly of the gun. You can also use them when evaluating a pistol for purchase. These are excellent tests to check the condition of a used 1911 prior to purchasing it.
Generally, if a firearm that I'm considering buying fails any of these tests, I would pass on that particular gun. That's not a hard-and-fast rule, but unless the gun was of such value that it was worth the time, effort and expense of an immediate trip to a qualified gunsmith, I would look at other guns.
Before performing these or any other tests, please ensure that your gun is UNLOADED, and that the gun is ALWAYS pointed in a safe direction.
And, by the way, you do NOT keep ammo near by when you clean or disassemble your guns, right? RIGHT? Right.
A quick look at the classic Five-Count Drawstroke,
and why I have come to prefer a Four-Count Drawstroke.
I'm not saying that the four-count drawstroke is necessarily better than the five-count. However, I will say that personally, I have come to prefer it.
As shown in the video, the four-count drawstroke allows you to acquire a firing position almost immediately after your firearm clears the holster. Simply pivot your weapon so the muzzle is facing forward, and you're in a one-handing firing position. This is similar to the "Speed-Rock" one-hand shooting technique.
The four-count drawstroke also raises the "smack" position (where your firing hand meets your support hand) to your mid- to upper chest area. In my opinion, this is a significant improvement because your two-handed grip is now close to eye level, which allows you to attain your sight picture almost immediately.
I'm sure that some folks will still prefer the classic five-count drawstroke. However, I would urge any serious shooter to at least give the four-count drawstroke some thought. Experiment with it for a while, and then see which one works best for you.
Five Modes of Carrying a 1911 Pistol
The Five Conditions of Readiness
Let's define the five readiness conditions that a 1911-style pistol can potentially be in. These can also be termed the five modes of carrying a 1911 pistol.
The late Col. Jeff Cooper, father of the Modern Technique of the Pistol, described the five modes of carrying a 1911 pistol using the terms "Condition 0," "Condition 1," "Condition 2," "Condition 3," and "Condition 4". These conditions are listed in the order of readiness the pistol is in.
In Condition 0, the pistol is ready to fire; in Condition 1, it is one step away from firing; in Condition 2, it is two steps away from firing, and so on down to Condition 4, which is a 'transportation' mode, about as far away from ready to fire as possible, short of disassembly.
These conditions apply primarily to the 1911-style semi-automatic pistol, which was Cooper's favored combat pistol. I have added my explanations and descriptions to his definitions of the Conditions.
Here's the long story of the broken extractor on our (at the time) newly purchased Taurus PT1911 Pistol:
Whooda thunk a new pistol would have a broken extractor?
Several years ago, my wife & I were in the market for a house gun.
We happened upon this Taurus PT-1911, and we were intrigued. We decided to check it out a bit further, and ultimately purchased the gun.
Most of the details are covered in the accompanying video, but for those of you who prefer the written word, here's the story: