Weapons training for winter nights
By Claire Wolfe
Website Exclusive • September, 2006
During the dreary winter months our shooting skills may get so rusty they creak.
Paladin Press, famous purveyor of books on weaponry and combat, provides another form of skill builder for days when snow covers the targets at the range: Instructional DVDs and VHS tapes. This winter we can do some studying and even a bit of hands-on learning indoors using two Paladin DVDs.
The first, Combative Pistol: Jim Grover's Guide to Extreme Close-Quarters Shooting, is for well-skilled shooters who might find themselves up close and personal with an attacker.
The second could be used by anyone from novices to experienced shooters who ever need to defend home or homestead. That one is The Combat Shotgun with Louis Awerbuck: Concepts, Skills, and Tactics for Employing Shotguns in Personal Combat.
Up close and personal with a pistol
When Jim Grover says "extreme close quarters," you better believe it. The shooting techniques in this 60-minute video are adapted from, and could be used in response to, extremely dirty forms of street and prison knife attacks. This is gun-fighting literally in body contact with your attacker.
A lot of us assume that if we have a gun, no attacker would ever get that close. But according to the video, half of all law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty are within one to five feet of their attackers. I've seen demo videos in which a knife-wielding attacker charges across a room in roughly one second to overpower his victim. (On certain drugs or with a certain mindset, an attacker would charge a well-armed homeowner.)
Paladin's blurb for this video calls Grover's techniques "frighteningly effective." Grover (aka Kelly McCann), an on-site security specialist, trainer of special forces, and long-time columnist for Guns & Ammo, is the real deal, highly praised by the toughest of the tough. The combat simulations here hardly look simulated. They're lightning fast (but very well-explained), ultra-realistic, and they frankly scared me with the amount of damage that could be inflicted in a blurred second or two.
This production is directed at police officers and is definitely only for experienced pistol shooters. But even to me, it served as a wake-up call about the speed and savagery with which an attack can come.
The DVD is divided into segments that could enable you and a friend to conveniently study and (carefully and safely, please) practice the techniques shown here.
The production has only one major flaw, but it's a distracting one: Crazy camera work. The image quality is crisp, clear, and professional.
But the hand-held camera is in constant motion, as if the videographer were standing on a ship rocking side-to-side and back-and-forth. If you can get past that, this is a unique and useful video.
Jim Grover's Guide to Extreme Close-Quarters Shooting
DVD 60 minutes
In The Combat Shotgun, world-famed firearms trainer Louis Awerbuck gives a good overview defensive shotgunning.
- Which types of shotguns (pump action and semi-auto) are best and why
- Which accessories are essential for self-defense and which you don't need
- What type of ammo to use
- How to shoulder the gun so that its recoil won't overwhelm you
- How to reload under stress conditions
- How to use an attached light in encounters that take place in darkness
- How to stand for best control
In the most interesting segments, Awerbuck runs an inexperienced shooter through drills using different types of targets and ammo. Everything here is presented slowly. The student shooter is never rushed or pressured; the emphasis is on building skills and control of the firearm.
In the pages of BHM, Massad Ayoob gives excellent advice about home defense weapons. Awerbuck's emphasis is more on technique, and it's extremely helpful to actually see the shotgun in action.
As with the Grover DVD, this video also has its faults. Some of the taping was done under breezy conditions, which you can hear on the soundtrack. The first two segmentsgear and ammo selectionare the driest. Information in those portions isn't well-organized or well-presented and might lead a newbie to feel overwhelmed. But persevere. Or use the menus to take each segment as a separate info-bite. It gets better.
And...well, if you're of the female persuasion, you might simply enjoy looking at the trim, compactly muscular Mr. Awerbuck and listening to his alluring South African accent as he explains the basics of shotgun defense.
The Combat Shotgun with Louis Awerbuck
Concepts, Skills, and Tactics for Employing Shotguns in Personal Combat
DVD or VHS 75 minutes
Tapes and DVDs can be obtained from:
Gunbarrel Tech Center
7077 Winchester Circle
Boulder, Colorado 80301
Customer Service: 1-303-443-7250
Credit Card Orders: 1-800-392-2400
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