Did Santa bring you a new semiautomatic pistol? Or did you have one (or more) already? No matter – you would have benefited as much either way from David Maglio’s class on getting maximum speed with accuracy from such a handgun, as presented at our Massad Ayoob Group Reunion earlier this month.
Now honorably retired, Maglio began his distinguished law enforcement career with an issue .357 Magnum service revolver, went to the double action Beretta 92 and then to the Glock, and learned to appreciate single action autos like the 1911 along the way: he knows all permutations of the auto pistol breed intimately. He is a former Midwest Regional Champion in IDPA Stock Service Pistol competition, and holds the record for a quad speed qualification with our organization: 299 out of 300. That’s 6 shots one hand only from the holster in two seconds; draw-fire six-reload-fire six more, all in 6.25 seconds; and so on. The important thing is, he shows the students how to do it.
David is a senior staff member at my school. He came up with, and runs, the MAG-30 program around the country, three days and three thousand rounds…and getting rave reviews from students.
Maglio emphasizes smoothness in shooting. “Picture a full-to-the-brim glass of the most expensive bourbon on the dashboard of your car. Drive like you don’t want to spill a drop. That’s how you ‘drive’ your pistol’s trigger,” he says.
On the bell curve between slapping the trigger and riding the trigger forward just to the point of reset, David agrees with me that for most defensive shooting purposes, letting the trigger come all the way forward to guarantee reset is the best bet, especially when shooting at or near maximum speed. He calls the firm resistance of the trigger after taking up the slack “the speed bump”; no matter how fast you’re going, it tells you it’s a good idea to slow down.
David also conceived and runs our MAG-IC program, Massad Ayoob Group Instructor Class, certified to teach the live-fire handgun methods we’ve developed over the last almost half-century for shooting under extreme stress, at speed, and still hitting what you need to hit.
“We’re looking for cadence,” he says, emphasizing pace. Never shoot faster than you can hit. Know what you have to hit to achieve your goal, and the pace at which you’ll have to shoot with a solidly stabilized pistol to make that center hit. The shooting involves cover positions, awkward positions, one-hand only (either hand!) and the various two-hand stances, each of which can have a place depending on the job that needs to be done with the pistol and where you find yourself when performing that job becomes imperative.
Of course, there’s more to self-defense than just the gun, and that was part of the theme of the Reunion event. We finished with that at the gathering, and so will finish with that in the next installment here.