MARCH 1, 2022

Around the Water Cooler: Late Winter

As I’m awaiting gear and ammo to delve into product reviews, it seemed time to take a look around and see what’s happening. I have and it’s not at all good.

First, we had the first war (of any note) in years kick off last week with the Russian incursion into the Ukraine. News stories, which are dreadful sources of reliable information, alleged that aircraft containing paratroopers were shot down and that the Russians had taken Chernobyl – though why anyone would want to take it escapes me.

The ‘news’ went on to allege that the government of the Ukraine, not considered reputable by many, issued “AK-47” rifles to citizens.

Your tax dollars at work, I suppose they were told.

The stories are wide and varied and, while they may be AKM/variants, it’s possible they’re more like the AK-74 which uses a smaller cartridge. I’m not sure any training was issued with the rifles – or any ammunition. As another media account alleged that there are around 25 million AR-15s in private hands in the US – a conservative figure, I thought – there’s no doubt that the largest armed group of people on Earth are right here at home.

Then we had the verdict announced in the “popcorn shooting” trial, not to be confused with a young aggressor named “Cornpop” or something. The shooting apparently involved a retired cop and a motion picture venue in the pre-pandemic days. The jury – of only six citizens – heard the evidence, shrugged and delivered a verdict of not guilty.

This surprised a few people of my acquaintance who considered this a “bad shooting.”

I wasn’t aware there was anything that could be a “good shooting,” and I figure the jury saw all the evidence that I didn’t see. The lesson, if any is needed, is to stream video at home and make your own popcorn.

Also last week, I was made aware of a study in which it was determined that cops taught to stand still on a range and shoot were at great risk of injury or death when attacked. I’m glad that study’s out since the topic has been comprehensively discussed since the late 1980s – and even before.

The problem, in my view, is that people are taught to shoot and to grapple independently of each other. I’d suggest getting the firing solution – including presentation and gun handling – under control first, then move to control and defensive tactics before moving into force-on-force involving the range of available control tactics. It takes time and it’s difficult, but it’s worth doing.

The little side-step on the range is ‘theater’ except that it opens the neural doorway to prompting more relevant movement in detailed training later.

On another topic, trainer-customizer-manufacturer Ernest Langdon reached out to me regarding our coverage about Langdon Tactical taking over production and sales of the Striker Control Device for certain GLOCK pistols. He noted that the product “is made to the exact spec that Tom made them” – the sole difference is the finish of the LTT version, black nitride. He expects the finish will hold up better – and I’ve noticed no finish wear on my Tau Development examples, but applaud the product improvement. “Other than that,” he said, “they are exactly the same.”

And that’s good news.

Doing a 'sweep' of the holster-mouth with the gun-hand thumb isn't nothing -- and it's a decent practice. Following up with keeping the finger at high register and placing the thumb on the hammer/rear of the slide is likewise a good move -- while you maintain situational awareness.

A few have noted the “gadget” lacks relevance, but there’s a mailing list I still subscribe to that’s old school internet. A number of relevant types are there. One noted that certain of us like for people to “sweep the holster mouth with the thumb of the gun hand before replacing the pistol.”

Like not getting in a hurry, doing a ‘protective sweep’ is sound particularly if you’re not wearing gloves. In any event, learning to holster one-handed by feel is another good skill to develop unless you can “see in the dark like a ninja.”

It’s also good to remain aware of the continuing situation “in case the fight isn’t really over.” Bill Blowers has noted the phenomenon of ‘reanimation’ of perpetrators shot by police when they get past the surprise of being shot.

An equipment solution isn’t the only solution, but it can help.

-- Rich Grassi