How To Chicken Wing A Pistol

chicken wing pistol

This is certainly different. I didn’t think it was possible to “chicken wing” a pistol, but I was wrong. Masada Tactical, based out of Maryland, is teaching some form of pistol manipulation that was created by the Israelis. The basis of the pistol “chicken wing” is to index your cheeks with the top of your hands. Then while grasping the slide with your support hand; you punch out while spinning your pistol upright. According to the instructor, the modern US style of isosceles shooting is too fine motor skill based so this technique is all gross motor skill. Oh also apparently Israelis are not allowed to carry chamber loaded. On top of the odd indexing, the stance that the shooter takes seems a bit strange. It looks like he is trying to straddle a fat horse. Stick around, the end of the video is a real treat.



Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • SD3

    Bawk! Bawk!

  • gunsandrockets

    Once upon a time I read somewhere that the Israeli practice of carrying with an empty chamber is a very old doctrine. Supposedly that doctrine came about from the very wide variety of handguns issued, as carrying with an empty chamber allowed a method of training that would work with any model semi-auto pistol regardless of different safeties.

    • Bearjew

      And the wide variety of ammo, old surplus stuff from ww2 given to Israel and homemade in less then optimal working conditions, read somewhere that they actually trained to just empty the mags in their smgs because more often then not they just ran away so to speak

    • Zebra Dun

      Safety, PC and the fact if your pistol gets grabbed YOU know it needs to be charged before shooting, the grabber doesn’t and unless he has time to check and work the slide to load you got a chance to recover.
      Me If I carry it’s chamber loaded, safety on and Excuse me sir, step back a bit.

      • Man pippy

        Sure that would work outside Israel, but since in Israel everyone carries without a round chambered it wouldn’t work.

  • Joe Schmoe

    Once again, this is not the Israeli system; this is this person’s/company’s take on the system (the whole draw and rack is off what is taught in the IDF).

    The “Israeli system” is in place simply because you can’t walk around legally with a round chambered, that’s it. So instead, the safety is off but the chamber is empty, and therefore you have to have a system which involves just racking the round and aiming/shooting (or if you want, playing with a safety) instead of just flipping off the safety and aiming/shooting.

    Again, different places; different tactics and rules. One doesn’t have to be superior to the other, just fit the rules of the area in play. People who try and sell this system as somehow being “superior” to other systems are missing the point of why it’s standard in Israel in the first place (the law).

    And to be honest, these people give the IDF a really bad name in my opinion; trying to market off nearly 8-12 months (or more) of training in “merely a few days or weeks”. It’s sad that they pass it off as “Krav Maga shooting” (wtf?) or “IDF shooting”.
    And real IDF shooting doesn’t consist of the stupid and wasteful firing drills in the video. It consists of being able to make accurate shots under stress at all ranges and conditions.

    It reminds me of all these places that sell “IDF Krav Maga”, which has nothing to do with what is actually taught in the IDF. The actual IDF’s Krav Maga is a bit limited in scope because, and quite logically, you have a gun and are with dozens of others who have a gun. The change that you will get in one on one hand to hand combat alone to the death is smaller than the chance that you will die of a stress or injury during some kind of crazy Krav Maga training. So basically, they teach you basic boxing/martial arts skills, and how to use your rifle as a hand to hand weapon; and that’s all you really need for nearly all of the situations you are likely to encounter while in the IDF. Anyone who sells it as something more AND claims he was a combat soldier who learned it in the IDF is most likely lying

    • I did learn the Israeli technique of drawing as well as reloading and chambering a round.
      They taught when drawn the pistol is rolled 90 degrees left and racking the slide no matter if the slide is locked back or full forward. I never use my slide release anymore. It’s much more reliable to rack the slide than hit the slide release.

      As far as the video I have seen the wider stance and more bending of the knees but I can’t go with both arms held that high. Wasted motion to me.

      • Joe Schmoe

        Ironically, I instilled a habit in myself of charging the M-4A1 instead of hitting the bolt release. The reason was that I had a series of jams that happened when I hit the bolt release to chamber a new round (round didn’t fully enter the chamber) but not when I used the charging handle to pull back and add a little oomph into the loading. This went on for a while.

        Turns out that it was most likely a bad magazine/s that slowed down the bolt somehow, but I already am used to doing it this way.

        But I would never claim that my way is “the IDF system”. 🙂

        • I’m getting ready to review a side charging handle on an AR. I’m very curious if it will be as fast as I think it will be.

          • Nicholas Chen

            Phil, Once you go scar, you dont go back LOL

          • seans

            How many deployments you got with a SCAR out of question. How many have you been responsible for? Cause I find it interesting how many people say it’s the end all be all, but the SMUs refuse to use it.

          • Chris

            This is my current understanding based on interaction with dod individuals in a position to give accurate feedback regarding the scar-h. The rifles that were procured by socom were rushed to service and suffered numerous and widely varied types of issues as a result. Each person I have queried has painted a different picture about what made them dislike the weapon. On the other side of the coin, I have watched those same individuals try my stock scar17S, and almost all of them are surprised that the rifle actually eats whatever you put in the magazine. the mk17 to the scar17S, in my humble opinion, may not even be similar enough to warrant the disdain they receive from people who haven’t tried both civilian and military models.

          • seans

            So how many rifles are you basing your assessment of the civilian model off of? And why at this point are issues still appearing with new MK17s being issued. While is the MK20 a absolute abortion to the point that it’s becoming common place to use the MK17 in its place. Again I have heard similar that the civilian versions are reliable. But those are individual cases are a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of AARs I have read, the amount of problematic MK17 and 20s I have dealt with and others I know and trust, and dealing with the FN reps at training evolutions they have attended who had no clue what was causing the widespread problems. It isn’t a good gun, maybe one day it will be, but it will never be a great gun. There are far better guns now and when it got selected.

          • toms

            Some seals still deploy with the mk17 and it is really great or it sucks depending on who you talk too. It seems that it is more of a personal preference thing. I don’t think guys would still be using them if they were as unreliable as some say. In fact the only reliability issue that I heard from those guys is the optic eating thing. The mk20 is a different issue and has had some problems relating to the trigger mechanism and less than outstanding accuracy.

          • Nicholas Chen

            I’m not military. I use my Scar for recreational use and 3Gun. I find it is more accurate for me than my 556 guns.

          • LOL—I hear ya.

    • Man pippy

      Israeli’s should stop teaching this inferior method to non-israeli residents. It’s irresponsible. because beginners think they are getting the best.

      • Joe Schmoe

        Listen, I wouldn’t say it’s a “bad” system compared to others, I mean it works pretty well at the end of the day. But I agree they should stop claiming one system as purely superior to another.

  • Cymond

    Geez, do ya think he could say “Israeli” any more during that intro explanation?

    “and still get the spiraling that makes the shot more accurate” @4:35
    http://gifs.gifbin.com/1238512537_wantedgoodbyebullet.gif

    • Der Waffen SS.

      for some odd reason many people drool like Pavlov’s dogs over anything concerning Israel- guess the US media brainwashing really works.

  • Dan

    I am no gun fighter super operator but I’m sorry that is the biggest pile of b.s. i have ever seen. Maybe we should improve upon this by dropping into full splits and bouncing up and down to confuse the bad guy. But it must work he said Israeli

    • I’ve never seen a real Israeli soldier use a stance with the arms that high.

      • Joe Schmoe

        This is the Yamam, arguably one of the best Israeli SF units, and how they hold their pistols:

        http://www.nrg.co.il/images/archive/300×225/1/356/348.jpg

        And here’s an older training photo of the dog unit handlers, Oketz:

        http://www.realfighting.com/images/D5.jpg

      • Der Waffen SS.

        when you’re shooting at rock-throwing Palestinian kids whose land you have stolen why go through all this trouble?

        • Man pippy

          Considering they would be using rubber bullets on their 9mm pistol, sounds like fun.

        • Guest

          Nazi scum.

          • Yes indeed anytime we have a post that has anything to do with Israel that twisted and demented individual shows up. I rather expected it.

      • raz-0

        Only thing I have seen with technique like that was from quite a while ago, and was demonstrated by an Israeli sky marshal or whatever their air Marshall equivalent was called then. Maybe 88-89.. someplace in there.

    • Dragonheart

      Dan you obviously have common sense.

  • USMC03Vet

    As long as hits are on target that is all that matters. I was taught wide stance with isosceles and that reload indexing in the Marines. We also taught weaver stance. Basically it’s what the shooter is comfortable with to get hits down range. Unless you’re being unsafe flagging others there really isn’t a “best”, but if you’re wearing body armor isosceles is going to offer superior protection.

    Carrying without a round in the chamber is just silly unless you’re using a relic single action revolver without a pin block.

    • D

      The only issue the vast majority of us legal CCW holders have is that we are not wearing armor, and the lack of same makes the shooter in isosceles more vulnerable than the oblique Weaver.

  • Grindstone50k

    About a week behind ENDO

  • Philip

    IIRC, the Israeli shooting method evolved from the Fairbairn method, which also started with an empty chamber and full magazine. The rationale back then was that the FN Brownings used by the Shanghai Municipal Police back then had such small safety catches that the policemen might forget to deactivate them under stress. Since it’s not safe to carry those early self loading pistols without the safety on, this make sense.

    • Mike W

      In every book I have read about the SMP, Fairbairn advocated the 1911 or .45 revolvers for the locals in some cases. He also advocated that the safety catch be pinned for the very reason mentioned.

      • Altoid Fiend

        He preferred the big 45s, but some 380s were issued to those of less significant musculature, and did deactivate safeties (including the 1911 grip safety, IIRC). He would’ve loved Glocks.
        Also, Fairbairn’s methods came about in a time where the standard sights on most handguns were flat-out dreadful. Look at those things some time, and you will understand why point shooting was so popular for so long.

  • Jim_Macklin

    Since I doubt I’ll ever travel to Israel, I can hardly afford a 75 mile trip to Oklahoma, and my 1911 is fully loaded all the time, Some “new” technique seems to be a waste of time. Maybe the USA can teach Israeli the modern technique of Condition 1

  • Raoul O’Shaugnessy

    Looks like a bad case of derpes.

  • DogtheBountyHunter

    Wait, are the people in the video paying to learn this?

  • Bigdaddymurph

    If that’s the best Israel has to offer now days they are in serious trouble! If you can’t have a round in the chamber while your patrolling you shouldn’t be trusted with a weapon in the first place.

    • Man pippy

      Also hear they are on the cutting edge of urban combat. But how can a conscript army be on the cutting edge of anything? I guess they must have really good publicity.

      • Bigdaddymurph

        Cutting edge? Hezbollah gave them all they wanted last time around. They aren’t what they were 30 years ago.

  • Leonard Poujeaux

    April fools? This is a joke right?

  • Leonard Poujeaux

    -Make a video using some innovative new tier one super combat tactical black ops Israeli tactics.
    -Wait for everyone to start using it.
    -Laugh.

    These guys have to be trolls.

  • Zebra Dun

    Looks like a good way to lose control of the pistol.
    Possibly get a slide in the face.

  • Bruce

    The derp is strong with that one.

  • claymore

    While the stance and going up to the face is pretty strange I have used the older method they used to teach for carrying a forearm with no round in the chamber and it works quite well.

    Basically the same thing WITHOUT the silly up to the chin chicken wing move.

    Draw and the weak hand grabs the back of the slide when your hands come together at your chest with the firearm at a ghetto cant, push forward with the firearm and the weak hand stays firmly at the chest while the firearm moves forward.

    The stationary week hand holds the slide so it racks the slide as the moving firearm moves forward while the slide doesn’t move because it’s held by the non moving weak hand.

    When you feel the firearm moving forward and it starts to drag the slide you can feel when the slide is all the way backward because the moving firearm pulls on the slide because it’s at it’s travel limit to the rear.

    Then simply let go with the weak hand and the spring drives the slide forward even though the firearm is still moving forward in the strong hand and it chambers a round.

    Then if the target is right in front of you one can shoot while still in the ghetto cant or if you have some room then rotate the hand to normal shooting stance.

    We actually did some timed tests here because the Thai police also must carry with no round up the spout and this worked faster and better than drawing and loading a round by pulling the slide to the rear the normal way. Burt wev didn’t need no stinking chicken wings LOL.

    • claymore

      Found a photo of me at the Thai range almost at the end of the draw still in the ghetto cant and the slide still moving forward LOL. This is the only time I would recommend shooting while canted.

    • claymore claymore • 40 minutes ago
      Found a photo of me at the Thai range almost at the end of the draw still in the ghetto cant and the slide still moving forward LOL. This is the only time I would recommend shooting while canted.

    • claymore claymore • 34 minutes ago
      Found a photo of me at the Thai range almost at the end of the draw still in the ghetto cant and the slide still moving forward LOL. This is the only time I would recommend shooting while canted.

    • claymore

      Found a photo of me at the Thai range almost at the end of the draw
      still in the ghetto cant and the slide still moving forward LOL. This is
      the only time I would recommend shooting while canted.

      And note my stance. This was a scenario involving walking toward the
      target like walking down the street and suddenly perceiving an armed
      threat and having to draw and fire while having an unloaded chamber.

  • AbeFroman

    I couldn’t hear what he was saying half the time he was explaining the different parts of drawing a pistol. Maybe they need a boom mic more that chicken wing?

  • Guest

    I dunno about you guys but that would make me nervous holstering my weapon like the narrator does. Never point your gun at your gun, or never point your gun at something you’re not willing to destroy, or something like that.

  • Atticus Bryant

    “We do not use sights”.

    This is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen.

  • TDog

    Wow… talk about a solution in search of a problem.

    Are we sure this isn’t some sort of elaborate April Fool’s joke?

  • Egregious Charles

    “On top of the odd indexing, the stance that the shooter takes seems a bit strange. It looks like he is trying to straddle a fat horse.”

    It looks like a pretty standard martial arts “horse stance” (“horseback riding stance”) as found in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean martial arts that I know of. (Different arts differ in details like the the knee and foot angles.) This stance is very stable side to side and relatively unstable front to back, in the direction the recoil impulse comes from. Imagine trying to push that shooter off-balance sideways – would be hard. Imagine it from the front – would be easy. (Martial artists who train for years in “rooting” can be suprisingly stable from the front in that stance, but that’s irrelevant to a few days of training classes.)

    So it is the second least stable martial arts stance I can think of for shooting forward (worst is “cat stance”) at the same time it is as physically difficult as any.

  • suchumski

    I have an old journal where israely draw styl is introduced,
    it is from the 60th, there are pictures of this system.
    it is something of old shool and has nothing
    to do with the modern israely styl,
    could not imagin to see
    a video of this. 😀

  • toxie

    That is. . . bad.
    A: the wide horse stance adds no stability, is more tiring, and is also going to be harder to move from (as you are essentially planting yourself).
    B: the rest is balderdash. We aren’t forced to carry an unloaded gun here in the US. The chicken wing actually requires MORE fine (more in general actually) motor skill (thumb/forefinger rather then a whole hand) and is MORE complicated then standard training.
    C: what about close contact shots? You’ve got that gun screwed sideways (ejected round in the eye? What about a revolver?), with little chance to aim effectively and with the gun so far away from you’re core, that’s a nightmare for weapon retention.
    D: again, you’re sights aren’t properly presented until full arm extension.
    E: the entire process is slower. Slower is bad.
    F: malfunctions? How about this: let’s make clearing malfunctions as awkward as humanly possible.
    G: different isn’t always better, and the above video is. . . bad.

  • Josh

    “We dont use sights” Please tell me this is a spoof! LOL

  • Bozo

    The joos will fight to the last American solidier

  • Will

    IMHO, as a 33+ year police and military firearms instructor I would not teach this technique.
    Grasping the slide with thumb and index finger is NOT a gross motor skill it is a fine motor skill. Grasping the top of the slide with the heel of the palm and all four fingers is a gross motor skill plus gives MUCH better control.
    Turning the pistol to the left side ( for right handed shooters) enhances the chance of a foreign object falling back into the pistol if it is there.
    MOST shooters( under extreme stress) tend to jerk the trigger causing shots to go low. By crouching you lower the pelvis and torso making them more prone to taking initial hits.
    Sorry, I don’t like this technique.

  • Lt Donn

    I have seen these techniques before and they seem very dynamic. I was very concerned that as the instructor charged and re-holstered his Glock 23c, he swept his left hand/wrist with the muzzle. This is a bone-headed amateur mistake that can/could cost you dearly under stress. I instruct my students to Never “Laser” the support hand when re-holstering. Also, I wonder how many viewers caught the “yip” during the actual shooting?…where after the one handed round was fired, the mag ejected prematurely…take another look. I am not trying to be picky…I have made the same as well as many other mistakes on the range. The point is…what you do in training, or in this case while filming a video, you will do in combat…all “amateur” operators should review what was presented here.
    All in all, it is an interesting technique, but I do not feel it is faster or more instinctual than the techniques used here in America.

  • shooter2009

    Their law says they can’t carry a round in the chamber???

    Are they that paranoid of accidental discharges and poor gun handling that they are afraid cops and military are going to shoot themselves or others by accident?

    If the cops and military in any society needs to be ready to shoot, the Israelis do.

    Just change the law for cops and military so that a round can be chambered, then…learn to carry a frikkin’ round in the chamber.

    • Joe Schmoe

      This is where statistics comes into play.

      There is a much higher chance of of someone being shot by an accidental discharge due to round being in the chamber than it is likely for a person to be shot in the extra milliseconds it takes to draw and chamber.

      It’s Hollywood thinking that gunfights happen like in the movies, but in real life it is a much slower affair (both from personal experience and from others experiences).

      P.S. – We do also carry chambered depending on the situation, I’m not going to elaborate on this due to OPSEC.

      • shooter2009

        Joe, I respect your position.

        But, to me if someone can’t be trusted to carry a round in the chamber, they haven’t been trained correctly.

        • Joe Schmoe

          It’s not about being “trusted” per se, it’s about the facts that accidents do happen; that’s why they are called “accidents”. It’s best to put as many barriers in the way of that happening as possible.

          http://www.stripes.com/news/disturbing-trend-seen-in-negligent-discharges-of-weapons-in-afghanistan-1.22443

          Again, I don’t agree with the U.S. firearms community on many things; I often see a “cowboy” attitude come through where lives are at stake. All too often against the better judgement of statistics and experience.

  • Mike Saldivar

    Summarized as:
    Step 1: Present every artery in your body to the enemy
    Step 2:

  • Tom Simpson

    “Oh also apparently Israelis are not allowed to carry chamber loaded.” Do a little research. The “Israeli method” came about due to the multitude of handguns they used to have in inventory. When an individual may get a vintage 1911, or a Glock, or Hi-Power, or H&K, or SIG, or Makarov etc…; they HAD to adapt and that was the one common way of carry so they would not have to worry about muscle memory for each and every handgun they may use on a day to day basis. So that process reduced the manual of arms down to a single step after drawing the pistol. The more advanced units do carry the same handgun every day and I will bet money they go locked and loaded every minute of every day of the week.

    It’s amazing at the instructors with marketing degrees that are spouting crap that has no bearing on modern defensive pistol use. This is almost as bad as the instructor that lets students point an empty gun at him and pull the trigger so they can learn to point a gun at a human. Or the well known instructor that stands next to the target while an AK47 is shot at the target so he can “remember what combat is like”. Of course the only “combat” he was ever in was with LAPD and insurance fraud….

  • Chanan ( JOhn)

    I don’t agree with the Chicken $h!t, and I am Izzy mind you. I can be convinced of that thing with extra motion on the index finger will lead to better aim. But what I did like was his mag change procedure. The thing about dropping to one knee. Also I like his carry for vehicle. One friday while trying to get a license for my Uzi, the Sargent was saying how we should carry the gun on safety and the magazines out of the magwell. I shouted from the crowd “If you are afraid to carry a gun I can arrange a hammer for you.” I used to hitchhike to work around Itamar and Yitzhar region.

  • GeorgeBlackmore

    Looks efficient enough to me, and I’m sorry Dan, but in a gun fight my money says that guy, and that technique beats you ten out of ten times.

  • Tom

    Jeff Cooper would be rolling his eyes and turning in his grave if he saw this..

  • Altoid Fiend

    Finally, someone combines gunplay with Gangnam Style. About time.

  • Kellhound

    Only time I have ever chiken-winged a pistol was carrying a ballistic shield and needing to aim through the view port.