High-Speed, Low-Drag vs. Practical Defensive Shooting

Nathan S
by Nathan S

I, like many readers, value my time as a competitive shooter as part of a regime of practice for home and personal defense. However, it does have its limits, as shown by Larry Vickers. In this ‘Self Defense Scenario with a Pistol” video, he showcases how a competitive shooter would tackle a course and how one should in a real defense scenario.

Personally, I think Larry took it a bit slow, but was keen to notice he kept the handgun in a modified ready position while moving. This keeps it ready to deploy but also more controlled and does not risk exposing the defender prematurely during clearing.

Nathan S
Nathan S

One of TFB's resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR's, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.

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  • Jng1226 Jng1226 on Jul 26, 2015

    Back in the early 2000's, some Delta guys held USPSA matches on Range 14 at Ft. Bragg one Saturday a month. They openly invited anyone on base to come shoot the matches, and if you were active duty they provided the ammo, and even guns if you didn't have your own. They used the matches to promote marksmanship and the technical proficiency with handguns, necessitated by the competition. They taught others the "best practice" techniques of the time in the hope they would go back to their units and spread the word. They even did some scouting for talent by seeing who would come and measuring aspects of their capabilities and demeanor, in addition to shooting skills. Bottom line, the Army's greatest real-world shooters saw tremendous value in the shooting sports. The Unit guy who worked with Larry while he was consulting for H&K to introduce the HK 416 used to compete in USPSA, IDPA and 3-Gun, and sometimes used team equipment in them as part of his testing and evaluations. For all those who poo-poo what can be gained "real world" from competition in shooting sports - you're just flat out wrong.

    On another note, KC Eusebio is a former member of the Army Marksmanship Unit, and taught his USPSA Grand Master skills to many high-speed, low-drag units in the military, along with legends Max Michel, Travis Tomasie, Lee Dimaculangan, and many others.

  • Hyok Kim Hyok Kim on Jul 26, 2015

    "Personally, I think Larry took it a bit slow,....."

    I think he just took the right amount of time. Any faster than that, would have the ardeline pumping, and stopping the forward movement a little slower in case of ambush. More likely to get hit. It's almost always more important not getting hit than hitting.

    If I were setting up an ambush, I would have more time to hit the person clearing outisde the cover, if he moved faster since he would expose his body more and needs more time to backtrack behind the cover.

    " but was keen to notice he kept the handgun in a modified ready position while moving. This keeps it ready to deploy but also more controlled and does not risk exposing the defender prematurely during clearing."

    Ditto, did you notice how much more the first shooter exposed himself while moving fast?

    Now, with this out of the way, I think I would have done a little differently than Larry.

    When Larry was slicing the pie, he put his foot/leg closer to the cover forward, exposing both his lower and upper body wider angles of incoming fire. He also tend to use his dominant eye while slicing the pie instead of using non-dominant eye when using the non-dominant eye would have exposed far less of his face to the incoming fire. (At that range non-dominant eye would have been just accurate as using dominant eye.

    He also used use the gun in the dominant side when using the gun in the non-dominant side would have provided more cover during some of the courses. (Here I am not talking about changing the trigger hand, I am talking about using the same trigger hand, but just positioning it at different side of the body for optimal cover at the moment.)

    Also, sometimes clearing building take a long time, as much 30 minutes, and using modified ready stance he used gets awfully tiring to the point pistol's muzzle start point downward bending the wrist, increasing the response time.

    Spaulding recommended different modified ready stance, by sticking the elbow the ribcage while pointing the muzzle forward, this makes one a lot less tiring and not sacrifising the response time.