Tuesday, June 08, 2010

It's not always about "fighting your way to a rifle."

A hoary cliche in the shooting community is the old saw, usually attributed to Clint Smith, about "using your pistol to fight your way to the rifle you shouldn't have left behind in the first place." Which is all fine and dandy, except sometimes you're doing things that don't allow you to get both hands on the gat, as BangBangMedic points out:
This makes the 9mm perfect. I can be treating a casualty, and if somebody breaks through security, have a weapon on them immediately and still be able to work with one hand. I'm a fair pistol shot, Ive qualified expert each time.
It's an interesting post from someone with boots on the ground.


Anonymous said...

Apples and oranges.

The gentleman has a whole squad or platoon of folks with long guns and crew served weapons around him.


Tam said...


What I'm referring to is the tendency some people on the intertubes have of speaking in catchphrases, rather than thinking things through.

pdb said...

I've never liked that aphorism either.

I believe that for the vast majority of situations where a civilian is going to need a gun to defend himself, by the time he is able to get to his closet or car, dig out his longarm and charge it, the action will be long over!

Obviously if you anticipate
some unpleasantness in your area (riots, departure of civil authority, undead rising, etc) it is a good idea to sling up your rifle. Unless you're able to go about your daily business with an AR dangling from your shoulder, you will most likely be solving the problem with your sidearm.

Anonymous said...


Sorry, the coffee is taking some additional time to kick in. Unusually high brain density day.


Stranger said...

The short gun is the only practical "have with you every minute of the day" weapon. And since "incidents" tend to happen suddenly, at short range, with multiple attackers, and without warning, survival depends on nearly instant response.

In case of an "incident" I had much rather have a Smith 57 and a pocket full of speedloaders than all the rifles the car trunk will hold.

If the situation calls for more than a dozen rounds - it will probably become a case of a brisk salute and a "Sorry to bother you, God, but I'm reporting for reassignment."


aczarnowski said...

Col. Cooper's writings should be required reading before commenting about guns and their civilian deployment. I've rarely run into a discussion that he hadn't already thought through and wrote down as a path for the rest of us to follow, pointing out that we needed to decide if the destination fit our own situations. Many times they fit mine.

Anonymous said...

"Col. Cooper's writings should be required reading before commenting about guns and their civilian deployment."

How's this?

The pistol is a defensive weapon. It is, as a weapon, a means of reacting against unexpected deadly force. That is it's only reason for being, apart from recreation. Its capability for offensive action is poor, as its range is short, its power low and its technique difficult.--Jeff Cooper

There have been stirrings of late from several sources suggesting the pistol may be an acceptable substitute for the rifle.(This is somewhat backward from the thinking that had the .30 carbine introduced as a means of remedying the perceived shortcomings of the 1911 pistol).

Admittedly, handguns were put to good use by the "tunnel rats" of Viet Nam, which action also witnessed a few soldiers equip themselves with sidearms as an insurance policy against the frequent failures of the M-16/5.56 NATO combination.

So too, as bangbangmedic points out, handguns are good at staying out of the way as well as keeping people out of your way but this only reinforces Clint Smith's dictum: the pistol gives you time to increase your space, allowing you to fight your adversary from a greater distance which increases the prospect that you will emerge from the fracas with all your faculties still intact.


Bubblehead Les said...

Well, the only firearm that's with me 90% of the time is my old Colt Cobra snubbie, even though I love my Rifles and Shotguns. Goes with me to the store, the bathroom, the backyard, answering the front door, on my nightstand (wife likes her Dan Wesson on her side of the bed), my morning walks, etc. But even with my snubbie, that still makes me better armed than the Cumbria, England Police! But when I had to shift to my left hand for awhile when my right hand was damaged in an industrial accident, I never felt unarmed because I knew I could still use my pistol. And isn't Rule #1 in a gunfight is to have a gun?

Geodkyt said...

"A pistol is a gun you carry when you CAN'T always have a rifle handy."

Noah D said...

I dont think that there is any completely safe place to put a handgun where it won't flag someone, at some point.

Odd, I seem to remember a bit of a discussion here about this a while ago...

Lame-R said...

Captain Obvious says:

A knife is what you stick in someone as you reach for your pistol.

A pistol is what you use until you can equip your rifle.

A rifle is what you use to buy time to call for artillery and aerial support.

The moral of that pithy old saying is not "handguns drool, longguns rule", it is:

"seek every decisive advantage you can get."