What is the most important thing when defending yourself with a gun? Ammo? Stance? Quality of gun parts? Holster placement? .45 ACP vs 9mm? None of these are the most important thing when defending yourself with a gun (or in general). For a while now I have seen people drone on about how
to setup a self/home defense or concealed carry gun. Hell, even I have! The most important thing is your damn brain. Knowledge and critical thinking rule. If you took a shitty gun (Bare bones AR-15 for $400 bucks) and gave it to a SOF member they could run the shit out of that gun in tough situations, like home invasion, and be successful. But the opposite is not true. If you gave a top of the line gun, like a a Noveske 13.7" Gen III Infidel ($2,600) or 14.5" Radian Weapons Model 1 Rifle ($2,600) to a novice shooter they would fail in tough situations. Thinking good parts or guns make you better is a flawed thought. First off you need to have the skills to squeeze out the extra performance from high end parts or rifles. You just don't magically get a high end gun and shoot tighter groups if you do not apply the most important piece of the puzzle. Your brain. Anyone can gunfight, but people who win gunfights regularly are those who can brainfight. As GI Joe always said, 'Knowing is Half the Battle'. Don't half fight battles!
Training, seeking knowledge and taking defending yourself very personally is key. There is so much knowledge out there on the Internet it is very easy to get a good base of brain information. Now there comes pros and cons to this. There is bad and good information. I have below places I recommend following and absorbing knowledge from. This is not the only list, but a list of places I
trust. But it also means you must do your part, just having the knowledge in your head and not training is only half the puzzle. For home defense, learn something and then dry fire train in your house. I do this at times. Get a feel for things before hitting the range, iron out the wrinkles. I do about 100 dry fire draw and fires with new holsters before even remotely 'Doing it Live'. I want to ensure the holster and even myself are good to go before banging ammunition. There is so much you can do without having to actually shoot your gun it is really a shame for people not to take advantage of such a thing. Using things like Snap Caps to ensure a safe environment is recommended. Magazine changes, flashlight usage and movement inside the environment you are defending (like your home) is the best place to train. I have a vehicle CQB video (see below) I did with Nate Murr discussing super simple drills you can do. You could do those drills with no ammunition! Shooting is the easiest part of the process. Drawing, moving, finding cover, communicating are all more difficult. The best part about this is it is free and takes no ammunition.
This is not to say that everything a good trainer shows works for you. If you have gone to courses or tried different techniques you will know that they do not always transpire to winning for every person out there. So try things out, see how they work for you. Then when you get to the range you are not wasting time and ammo feeling things out. You can train and practice things you worked out prior to hitting the range. My friend Nate Murr, inventor of the Gripstop, when changing out magazines on the AR-15 slaps the bolt catch. While I use my thumb to release the bolt catch. Different ways but with the same result and speed. Neither one of us is right or wrong as long as the outcome and reliability of a technique is the solid for each individual.
QUICK TIP: Before going to a course you have lined up research the instructors publicly available material on the courses subject. Usually there are quick blips from all instructors on the Internet. Learn it, dry fire it, understand it. If you can learn these quick blips, it allows you the ability to asked more in depth questions when you are at the course.
Some people might call me out on always saying to buy the best parts. I can understand that given I just said you 'could' use a piece of shit AR-15 and give it to a SOF member and they would succeed. That is given the gun operates obviously! The point is, buy the best parts to ensure operation. Cheap parts might get you by, but I will always recommend the best to ensure if you have to defend yourself your gun is their for you. Cheaper parts are out there, but I cannot in good conscience recommend them. If cheaper parts work for you and you are ok with that, then that is your own personal choice. Just as my opinion is my personal feelings on the subject. To each their own. Get your brain engaged if you are already not doing so. It is what will provide the best defense against criminals, not your gun.
Sheriff of Baghdad (SOB Tactical)
Trident Fitness Tactical