The Problems With Small Self-Defense Guns
I am often asked what I think is the best weapon for concealed carry. This question often comes up during class, but in occasional online conversations the question seems to be growing in popularity. The answer is simple: the most popular weapon. Regardless of the criterion for choosing the ideal weapon for concealed carry, its popularity seems to trump practicality. Of course, popularity can be subjective, but for me, that’s what consumers buy. More and more consumers are buying small arms that are ideal for concealed carry. The only downside to this consumer choice is the inherited difficulty in accommodating them well due to their smaller sizes.
Don’t get me wrong, I love most of the small arms currently on the market. They have given many people the ability to defend themselves while other weapons could not. Sometimes when a new gun owner buys their first gun, size is all that matters. I don’t blame them, the vast majority of new shooters may not invest in formal training to understand 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. Even if it’s not the best start, it’s still a step in the right direction.
The hope is that the new gun owner will recognize the shortcomings of such handguns, put aside all preconceived notions and seek qualified advice. What we want to avoid is the worry about the purchase. What we don’t want to see is people being talked down 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 skills with what they have and that is what they want to bring into battle.
This leads us to the biggest obstacles to small car gunnery shooting well – the handle size, recoil control, sighting system, and trigger system. There are some that you can improve, such as: B. the sights or the shutter. Small cars are notorious for poor fighting style visibility. 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. Only a few small cars have a soft trigger; many have a heavy and long trigger pull that takes a reasonable time to master. Again, as consumer trends rise, so too will the aftermarket options for drop-in replacement triggers. A warning about trigger upgrades. Avoid products that can compromise internal collateral 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 sight and the rear sight) • Rolling your little finger under the magazine is often the only option when firing weapons with a shortened grip frame.
This leaves us with grip size and recoil control. Small cars are naturally small. The smaller size makes them easier to hide, but difficult to hold and good to shoot. 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 bottom to rest on the surface. It seems a bit strange at first because we are used to wrapping our little finger around something. In this case there is nothing so don’t worry. You can still apply pressure with your other two fingers and pull some force out of your little finger if you can press it into the palm of your hand. There are of course aftermarket add-ons for some magazines, but I find this technique works well. I may even prefer this technique instead of lengthening the profile of the weapon with a grip extension. It kind of misses the small car’s purpose if you increase the footprint, which makes the gun harder to hide.
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 sledges, the recoil impulse can be more pronounced or more pronounced. One technique I use to mitigate recoil is described above, but the next is rarely practiced. Squeeze your heels together. Many shooters could benefit from this technique when shooting with a compact or full-size pistol, but especially with the small cars. What you do with this technique is to put more friction on the weapon during recoil. The increased friction helps to soften the recoil. I’m not saying you need the same force that you would use to crush a beer can. Just applying pressure internally will go a long way in making a difference. The more heel pressure is applied, the better the grip and control.
Small guns are usually light and easy to carry, but they can be difficult to deploy and fire quickly and accurately. • Maximum pressure between the heels of the palms reduces felt recoil and improves control when firing small handguns like this Kahr PM9.
The cumulative effect of these techniques described is not just better performance, but better experience. I find that a new Sagittarius who has had a positive experience is much more likely to repeat it with each subsequent positive experience that allows them to move forward. Shooting small cars doesn’t have to be associated with complaints. The challenges you face are manageable if you take the right steps. The first step is the hardest step, the more practicing. 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.
When the entire line of fire shoots at small cars, you have a great perspective. With some shooters you can see the recoil impulse more exaggerated. As you pay more attention, you will begin to see who is using good technique and who is not. Most new to small car shooting could take more time to acquire a solid shot grip. I find that working with some dry fire exercises at the beginning allows the student to get the best grip. That best grip is put to the test when we fire off live rounds. I believe that those who take the time to work on their handle during the dry fire will see tremendous benefits if we get in the line of fire and actually start drilling holes in the paper.
After watching the line do some basic exercises and being able to correct them with sub-optimal recoil control, we can focus on the next challenge: accuracy. Putting laps on the target is only part of it. We need to be able to deliver these rounds quickly, maybe even quickly. We only start ramping up the speed component if the student has had the opportunity to repeatedly meet a standard of accuracy. I don’t see any value in trying to be quick 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 starting 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, start increasing the distance.
One mistake we see in some students is the continuation of the speed paradigm where they try to go faster than their abilities allow. By keeping the same part-time and increasing the distance, it still challenges the student, but he is working from an acquaintance. They know what it takes to get hits from closer distances, so maintaining their precision of movement will produce better results. Movement precision means that the minimal movement you need to make is done at a level greater than the shot requires. It allows the student to get used to the success. They learn how much time it takes to produce a good hit and work on repeating it over and over again. At some point now, you can increase the challenge by going back into the closer area and decreasing the time. Then start the process from the beginning.
Carrying small cars for concealed carry is only becoming more popular. The increase in the makes and models available will give many a good choice. Manufacturers will continue to invest their energies in developing small cars with better sights and triggers. More and more people are choosing to wear frequently. Some get better with practice. As you become familiar with the handle size, friction increases by adding more meat to the weapon. The more friction you get, the better the recoil you can experience. Mastering recoil control requires better grip pressure, achieved by squeezing your heels together. Making these a part of your overall tech will improve your experience with these small cars, and that goes a long way in building confidence.