Shooting Illustrated | The Problems With Small Self-Defense Guns
I am often asked what I think is the best weapon for concealed carry. Often times this question comes up in class, but in occasional online conversations the question seems to be growing in popularity. The answer is simple: the weapon that is the most popular. Regardless of the criterion for choosing the ideal weapon for concealed carry, its popularity seems to surpass practicality. Of course, popularity can be subjective, but to me, that’s what consumers buy. More and more consumers are buying small cars that are ideal for concealed carrying. The only downside to these consumer choices is the inherited difficulty in accommodating them well due to their smaller size.
Don’t get me wrong, I love most of the small car guns currently on the market. You have given many people the opportunity to defend themselves when other weapons could not. When a new gun owner is purchasing their first gun, size is sometimes the only consideration. I don’t blame them, the vast majority of new shooters may not invest in formal instruction to know the pros and cons of a small gun. You may not even practice, let alone regularly. They may just be looking for the security their purchase can bring. It might not be the best start, but it’s a step in the right direction nonetheless.
The hope is that the new gun owner will recognize such deficiencies in handguns, put preconceived ideas aside and seek qualified guidance. What we want to avoid is worry about buying. What we don’t want to see are people being approached about their choice. Sure, it might not be the best option – or what I could choose – but it’s what you have. We have to work to make the new gun owner feel comfortable. The responsibility for the criticism of the purchase is not mine. What is mine is developing weapon skill with what they have and what they want to bring into battle.
This brings us to the biggest barriers to small car shooting well – the grip size, recoil control, sighting system, and trigger system. You can improve some of them, e.g. B. the sights or the trigger. Subcompacts are known for having poor fighting style visors. As these small cars become more popular, visor manufacturers continue to adapt to consumer trends and offer improved options. The trigger is a little more demanding. Few small cars have a soft trigger. Many have a heavy and long trigger, which will take a reasonable time to master. As consumer trends increase, so will the aftermarket options for drop-in replacement triggers. Be careful with trigger upgrades. Avoid products that can compromise internal security in any way. Be careful in your choices. If it sounds too good to be true, you know the rest.
One of the disadvantages of a small pistol is the limited sighting radius (the distance between the front and rear sights). • Rolling your little finger under the magazine is often the only option when firing weapons with abbreviated grips.
This leaves us with grip size and recoil control. Small cars are inherently small. The smaller size makes them easier to hide, but difficult to hold and shoot well. I find some are easier to grasp than others. A common occurrence is when the little finger is dangling in the wind. Lots of people worry about this, but my comments are just the opposite. Do not worry. If your pinky can fit the bottom of the frame, that’s great. If not, don’t sweat too much. Instead, curl your pinky finger to allow the magazine base to rest on the surface. It seems a bit strange at first, because we’re used to wrapping our little fingers around something. In this case, there is nothing so don’t worry. You can still apply pressure with the other two digits and remove some force from your pinky if you can press it into the palm of your hand. There are of course aftermarket additions to some magazines, but I find this technique works well. In certain circumstances, I prefer this technique rather than adding a grip extension to the profile of the weapon. It defeats the purpose of the small car if you increase the footprint, making it harder to hide the gun.
Recoil control is a difficult subject to talk about with the printed word. It has to be experienced. Due to the lighter frames and shorter foils, the recoil impulse can be more pronounced or more pronounced. One technique I can use to mitigate recoil is outlined above, but the next is rarely practiced. Pinch your heels together. Many shooters could benefit from this technique when shooting a compact pistol or a full-size pistol, especially the small cars. With this technique you will put more friction on the weapon during recoil. The increased friction reduces the recoil. I’m not saying you need the same force that you would use to crush a beer can. Just pushing inwards goes a long way in making a difference. The more heel pressure applied, the better your grip and control.
Small guns are usually light and easy to carry, but they must be used and fired quickly and accurately. • Applying maximum pressure between the heels of the palms of the hands will reduce the recoil of the felt and improve control when firing small handguns like this Kahr PM9.
The cumulative effect of these techniques described is not only better performance, but also a better experience. I find that a new Sagittarius who has one positive experience is more likely to do it again if each additional positive experience allows them to make progress. Shooting small cars doesn’t have to be a discomfort. The challenges you face are manageable if you take the right steps. The first step is the hardest, which is to practice more. We can all benefit from more practice, more training, and more education. I learn something new in every class. In the last Concealed Carry Instructor course, we shot a lot with small cars. We start pretty simple and learn the challenges as well as techniques for improvement.
With the entire line of fire shooting down small cars, you get great perspective. You can see the recoil momentum is exaggerated in some shooters. As you pay more attention, you will find out who is using good technique and who is not. Most new to small car firing experience could take more time to get a solid shot grip. I find that working with some dry fire exercises in the beginning allows the student to get the best grip. This best grip is put to the test when we fire live rounds. I believe those who take the time to work on their handle during the dry fire will see tremendous gains if we step into the live line of fire and actually start poking holes in paper.
After seeing how the line can machine some basic drills and correct them with sub-optimal recoil control, we can focus on the next challenge: accuracy. Achieving the goal is only part of it. We need to be able to deliver these rounds quickly, maybe even quickly. We do not start ramping up the speed component until the student has had the opportunity to repeatedly meet a standard of accuracy. I see no value in going fast when your accuracy isn’t there. If students increase their speed without wiring their technique deep enough, there will be problems. We start working from a good stand-by position if we want to increase the speed. This gives the student the opportunity to start with the best possible grip as they don’t have to pull out of the holster. Once you can maintain your standard of accuracy with some generous par times, increase the distance.
One mistake some students make is continuing the speed paradigm of trying to go faster than their abilities allow. Maintaining the same par time and increasing the distance will still challenge the student, but will work from a familiar one. They know what it takes to get hits from a greater distance, so maintaining their precision of movement will produce better results. Precision of movement means that the minimal movement you need to make is brought to a level higher than what the shot requires. It allows the student to get used to the success. You will learn how much time it takes to get a good hit and work on repeating this over and over. At some point now, you can increase the challenge by getting in closer range and cutting the time. Then start the process again.
Carrying small cars concealed is becoming increasingly popular. The increase in the makes and models available gives many a good choice. Manufacturers will continue to invest their energies in developing small cars with better sights and triggers. More and more people will choose to wear frequently. As they do this, some get better with practice. Getting familiar with the handle size increases friction by getting more meat on the gun. The more friction you get, the better you can experience kickback. Mastering recoil control requires better grip pressure, achieved by clenching your heels. When you make these a part of your overall tech you will improve your experience with these small cars, and it will go a long way in building trust.