Yesterday we did an advanced concealed carry program that pretty much focused on the ultra compact pistols. In this case, everyone with the exception of one shooter was running a Glock 26 in an effort to create the lowest profile possible.
While I will probably still opt for the Glock 19 as my daily carry platform the ultra compacts held their own. We asked folks to bring their backup guns and then we threw them into the fire by having them store their primary and work with their backups only. This is a class that specializes in “low profile” to almost “no profile” so we ran very minimalist gear. There was a lot of movement both laterally and linearly as well as seated drawstroke drills, a variety of concealment garments and low drills at the end of the day. So, basically, we were not standing still, changed shirts and jackets and worked some pretty interesting scenarios. The consensus at the end of the class was strong side carry inside the waistband with a spare magazine in pocket.
A few blogs ago we talked about the importance of a strong side drawstroke, the advantages in situations other than standing on a square range shooting a paper target in a T-shirt. Since these are generally planned events they can give us some tainted data. When you step onto a range to conduct training, you literally make a deal with your target. It’s like you walk up to it, put your arm around it and say, “hey man, I’m Jeff and I am going to blast holes in you all day and there is not a damn thing you can do to stop me.” It can lead to some false positives in performance and techniques. It is really hard to practice legitimate “unplanned” events in training, we all know what is happening to some extent. Even if you don’t know the details of the scenario, if it is force on force, you know something is happening. You got a safety brief, some protective gear and a parameters you have to work within. Don’t get me wrong, scenario based training is essential as is range training, but just remember when you get all excited about your performance that is was all “planned”.
We worked on a lot of contingencies to the concealed carry drawstroke, how to work through the problems we see occurring both in SBT as well as after action reports. We also asked the students to perform three basic everyday activities; retrieving their wallet from their back pocket, bending over to pick up something off the deck and sitting down in chair as if in a restaurant. These situations are things that most of us do on a daily basis, well the wallet thing was just a reminder not to carry it in your back pocket, but you get the gist.
The Glock 26 performed extremely well, I was very impressed as I hadn’t done as much distance work from the 25 yard line. Sights were a bit issue for some and even I had some complaints about the HD sights I was using. The take away was the ultra compact Glock 26 did an outstanding job and while folks might put it down, it was hard to argue with it’s performance. In the end, how much work have you done that is planned, versus unplanned.