During my yearly training audit, I reminded myself that I needed to get some more education on defensive driving and vehicle tactics. As a result, I purchased several book related to this topic on Amazon.
I started reading this book as soon as I got home from hearing Dr. Sherman House’s lecture on Becoming The Civilian Defender at the Hebrew Hogger Fundraiser last weekend. He and I were on the same page regarding critical skills to practice. His lecture reminded me that I need to get after my lagging skill-sets. Performance and defensive driving is something I don’t have official training in. I’ve started with this book.
The book’s author is Curt Rich, who was a Vietnam War vet and student of Jeff Cooper and Masaad Ayoob. So Rich wrote this book for the average person trying to drive in the real world, with discussion about avoiding everyday crazy drivers, everyday combat driving techniques, evading criminal activity on the road, high performance maneuvers to evade capture, positioning your vehicle in the real world, anti-kidnapping and carjacking techniques, and avoiding “Murphy” on the road.
Some of the topics I found interesting:
Setting up your mirrors to have no blind-spot, and proper seat adjustment
Hand placement on steering wheel. 9 and 3 with thumbs up, not wrapped
The two-second follow rule, and two-second green light rule
Maximizing ABS brakes. “Threshold Braking” with ABS brakes and how stop much shorter than fully depressing your brake in an emergency stop. He also includes some exercises you can do to practice.
How to be ‘smooth’ while you drive. (Smooth is fast, after all)
Dealing with tailgaters, erratic drivers, and someone following you (3 right turns)
Rules if you’re being chased. Evasive maneuvers and running through road blocks.
The section on car-jacking and kidnapping is very useful. Lots of tips that are easy to integrate into daily life.
This book was written in 1998, so several of the technological advancements he mentions on luxury cars are now standard in nearly all vehicles. The tactics are still completely applicable.
This book is DEFINITELY worth your time. It’s a short read at 125 pages or so. Considering copies are $0.01 plus shipping, you’re silly not to have a copy on your shelf.
If you’ll excuse me, I have some bootlegger’s turns to practice…
One of my great fears is that one of my firearms will get stolen and subsequently used in a crime. I would feel terrible if I found out that a rifle or pistol that I failed to secure from unauthorized access was used to kill an innocent person. As a result, I take every precaution to keep my guns locked and secured.
In general, I lock all of my guns away in a safe when not being carried. The large home safe is great for the non-essential guns that I don’t intend to access quickly. I also like to have more readily accessible guns in more convenient areas of my home besides the one I carry as my underwear gun. The best and most affordable option is the GunVault NanoVault. I own several of these. I use one in my house to lock up my larger carry gun when I get home. I use one to secure my pistol and other valuables in my vehicle when I am forced to go into a truly non-permissive environment like a courthouse. Hell, I even used one when I was in India to secure my spare cash when we had to leave our bags in a sketchy hotel in Gurgaon.
I recently realized they ALSO can be used to secure long guns. I have been shooting a rifle competition at a local gun range. The timing of which requires me to leave the rifle in my car at work and go straight to the range after work. A few times I rolled the dice and hoped that concealing the rifle in the cargo hold of my vehicle would prevent a theft. I wasn’t satisfied with this so I worked a solution. I secured the wire loop to a structural point of the car, passed the wire through the mag-well of my AR, and attached the NanoVault. They would have to pass the safe through the magwell, which probably wouldn’t work too well. This requires me to break the AR down, which technically only secures the lower receiver. My hope is that it buys enough time and is frustrating enough to keep a scumbag from walking away with my long gun. It also works well on shotguns. I haven’t tried it with an AK, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. The only limitation is the diameter of the wire crimp on the cable being able to pass through the action.
Is it super fast to get the lock off and get the rifle into play? No, but that’s not the point. I have no delusions of shutting down an active shooter with my rifle. Gunfights are “come as you are” events. This setup just gives me peace of mind while I’m workin’ for the man.
Any other ideas for securing long guns in vehicles? I’d love to hear them.
Protect the Brood,
PS. I hope everyone is having a restful holiday and enjoying the time with your families. Talk to you after the New Year!
Our 2,000 pound bullet (car) has failed us. We didn’t have the car on, we weren’t in drive, or we find ourselves in a circumstance that otherwise prevents our escape. To make it more dire, we have our little one with us. We have no other option but to ‘skin our smoke wagon’ and fight.
The Mission: Safely deploy our pistol from the buckled and seated position and allow ourselves to escape the car quickly and without being entangled with the car.
Here’s some relevant things to know about shooting in a car:
It’s loud. Like, way louder than you’re expecting. You’ll probably be sorry that you had to shoot from inside the car.
Going from inside the car through the windshield, bullets will tend to deflect upward. Depending on the weight of your bullets, as much as 3 inches at 7 yards or so. Google around and you can find some test data through windshields.
The trick to getting good hits through glass is to start shooting at a target, and keep shooting through the same hole. You make your own tunnel through the glass.
The 4 firearms safety rules still apply. You can usually get away with breaking one rule at a time, but any more than that can get you into trouble quickly. Like James Yeager says, “shooting yourself in a gunfight still counts”.
Cars are bullet magnets. If I have the little one with me, I will be leaving the car as quickly as possible to keep the heat away from the kid. We have to have the means to get out quickly and without injuring ourselves.
It might not be the best TACTIC to start a slug-fest gun fight at 2 feet. Everyone loses at these ranges. You may have to feign compliance or wait for your chance. Know your capabilities and limitations. The Way to learn this is through honest self evaluation and training.
Take the time to unbuckle your seat belt. There is nothing more unbecoming than being caught in your seat belt during a gunfight.
To clear the seat belt do a similar movement as you would do if you were just drawing your gun. Slide your left hand under the strap by your shoulder while your buckle hand disengages the latch. Use the hand under the strap to swipe the belt away. You now have access to your gun and can freely leave the car.
Repeat the general motions from step one to get your gun into play. Reach down and rip the cover garment away with one or both hands and hold it clear with the left hand. Establish grip with the right. Begin your draw-stroke. There are distinct advantages to drawing from the appendix (1 o’clock) position from inside a car. The direct line from holster to targets is helpful.
The 4 o’clock draw is similar. You can either pull yourself forward on the steering wheel (which I did in the photos), or you can use your right foot to stomp on the floorboard to lighten your gun side and pivot your hips to make space to access the gun. Keep your muzzle discipline extra strict and your draw-stroke compact. There are lots of objects and no-shoots that you can easily cover with the muzzle during this process.
Pivot directions in the car. You’ll notice you’re shooting in non-ideal and contorted shooting positions. To your left you’ll be in an almost Center Axis Relock position. Straight ahead and you’ll be in a compressed extension. To the right you might end up in a one handed shooting situation. Just remember ‘Sights and Trigger’ and don’t sweat the details.
When it’s time to leave, just stay compact with your gun and keep your muzzle averted. Post your foot on the door as it opens and use your leg to post and prevent it from bouncing back against your shins.
In future posts, I’ll share some ways I practice this in the comfort of my own home during dry fire. I’ll also share some ways you can practice this at a range even if you don’t have a car you can shoot through.
This isn’t the only way, it’s just a way. Keep that in mind and think through it for yourself.