1. Aled James Taylor

    Aled James Taylor Contributor Contributor

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    Firearms Training

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Aled James Taylor, Jul 4, 2017.

    In my novel, the MC gains employment as a security guard. She's given a uniform which includes a pistol (automatic, not a revolver). She isn't given any formal training or instruction for it and feels uneasy about using it, fearing an accident or mistake. Luckily, she has a friend who was in the army and asks for advice about how to handle the firearm.

    My question is this: What advice would she be given? (I'm particularly interested in the opinions of anyone with military experience).
     
  2. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    To be honest in that circumstances i'd tell them to get another job - failing that not to use the gun unless they really have to, the average amateur would struggle to hit a barn if they've not used a pistol before and the chances are high of having it taken from them and used against them.

    That aside i'd tell them to carry it safely (in a holster, it's fuck all use in your purse), to make sure the safety catch is on, and to not keep a round in the chamber, and to carry it decocked (the exact advice here depends on whether its double or single action - ie does pulling the trigger cock it as well or do you need to cock it for the first shot)

    I'd also tell them to make sure it's locked away somewhere safe at home where the kids can't get at it.

    In terms of using it, draw before you need it (quick draw is a western holywood conceit), right hand on the grip, finger outside the trigger guard but ready to pull the trigger, safety off*, left hand cupping the right arms and knees slightly bent (its called the weaver stance if you want to look it up), let the target get fairly close but not within ten feet, aim for centre mass and fire two at a time (a double tap) , hopefully its a sensible calibre and not something like a desert eagle so recoil shouldnt be a problem.

    Finally i'd tell them to go to a range and practice practice practice, i'd also suggest that they get one of those grip squeezers to improve the muscles in their right hand.

    (ex British Army - RGJ . Competition standard with a Browning Hi Power 9mm - back in the day )

    * some pistols have a grip safety so they can't be fired if dropped - chances are though that she'll be equiped with something like a hi point or a lorkin if the employer is too cheap to pay for training, and those are little better than saturday night specials without fancy features. (also I'm not sure about US law - but wouldn't she have to demonstrate basic competency to get a permit anyway)
     
  3. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    It varies from locality to locality, but there's no state or federal requirement for training or testing for competency. In some areas, particularly rural areas or in the western states, all you have to do is be tall enough to put your money on the counter at a gun show.
     
  4. NobodySpecial

    NobodySpecial Contributor Contributor

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    On the practical side the most likely advice might start with always handle a gun as though it were loaded, keep your finger off the trigger until it's time to shoot, never point a gun at anything you don't intend to shoot, and never shoot anything you don't intend to kill.

    Check with your local Sheriff's office or gun store for basic firearms safety classes. Going through one yourself might give you all the information you need. It may cost a few bucks, but the return could be well worth it and you'll have access to plenty of gun minded people too. Gun ranges in my area will even rent you a pistol. If you don't have much gun experience, some time at the range can make a difference for your understanding as well.(And don't worry, range officers are usually happy to help.)
     
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  5. Aled James Taylor

    Aled James Taylor Contributor Contributor

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    Thank you all for your answers, they're most useful. I live in Britain so we don't have Sheriff's offices, gun stores or firearms safety classes. We don't have guns for that matter so finding someone who's actually held a pistol before is a near impossibility. I'm writing a science fiction novel set in the future so legal requirements of specific locations today don't really apply.
     
  6. NobodySpecial

    NobodySpecial Contributor Contributor

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    Google says there are at least 5 gun stores in Britain. Dorchester, Exeter, Glastonbury and 2 stores in Lancaster.

    In the US the primary gun advocacy group is the NRA, they tend to run many of the 'approved' safety classes.

    https://explore.nra.org/interests/safety-and-education/
     
  7. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    To clarify guns aren't illegal in the UK - you can own rifles*, shotguns and FAC rated Air rifles and pistols if you have the appropriate certification ( a shotgun licence for the shot gun, a fire arms certificate for the others), so there are lots of gun shops. However with very few exceptions you can't purchase or own a handgun (air and CO2 pistols excepted) .... this was brought in after the Dunblane Massacre (the exceptions are muzzle loaders and other historic weapons that don't take cartridges, captive bolt pistols for vets and knackermen, long arms which are not considered hand guns by nature of their dimensions, certain police and forces personell who are authorised to carry a weapon for their own safety (they can still only carry the issue weapon not own their own) and diplomats and their body guards from other countries who may be licenced to own and carry handguns under certain circumstances)

    * rifles can be bolt action or semi auto (not full auto)and can only be used where you have a legitimate reason for their type and nature. You won't get a licence to own an AK47 for example even if its adapted to only fire singles as its not suitable for pest control or for sporting use . Shotguns are generally single or double barrelled not pump action or magazine fed, and barrels must be a minimum length... sawn offs are illegal
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  8. NobodySpecial

    NobodySpecial Contributor Contributor

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    I was just looking at some of the gun laws over there; as far as shooting sports go, you guys have it rough. Even your Olympic shooting sports teams have to go abroad to train. It does look like Northern Ireland offers a bit of an oasis to the gun laws, but I didn't find anything saying if those laws allowing guns only applied to locals and would not be extended to visitors, except one mention of "Don't even think about taking a gun back to Britain."
     
  9. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    Couple of problems. First, off, I think you mean semi-auto: one trigger pull, one bullet. Fully automatic mechanisms are complicated and heavy. Even most assault weapons, which most people assume are fully auto, are not.

    A company would never just give a gun to someone who hasn't demonstrated proficiency with it. They would do that because if an employee of theirs shoots someone, they're responsible for it. If they're even remotely on the grid, they're likely very careful over who they give guns too, for both safety and legal reasons.

    You'd also have to consider the right kind of gun. I don't think anyone's first choice would be a revolver, they're frankly a pain in the ass. You also wouldn't want a small woman to have a .22 Smith and Wesson, because it's heavy. People who need to rely on a handgun for safety want pinpoint accuracy, not power, so the lighter the gun, the easier it is to aim. A Glock 9mm would probably be the type of weapon issued.

    I imagine the gun is for the protection of the one carrying it right? A guard, for example, will not be protected by law if they shoot someone stealing something. That's what insurance is for. Guns are given to guards in case they become the target of aggression, in which case, you may want different guns. Fending off humans, then a glock is a great weapon, but if it's say a lumber company and there might be bears / wolves, you want a shotgun.

    As for advise:

    Learn everything about it: A good gun owner can take their weapon apart and put it back together fairly quickly. Guns jam, you have to know how to clear the jam under pressure. People also tend to forget that guns need to be cleaned properly.

    Practice: Shooting straight is a skill, and not as easy one to master. With both you and your target moving, hunting experience isn't going to cut it. That's something even gun people tend to underestimate.

    Warning shots first. If you have time, firing a warning shot will usually stop an attacker. This applies to both humans and animals.

    Line of sight. A bullet tends not to stop when it impacts its target. Always be aware of what's behind your target. Remember that the gun is not only aimed at whats directly in front of you. Everything in front of you is in the kill zone.

    Learn gun etiquette. A gun is a tool, and like most tools, it can have multiple uses. Let's assume this story takes place in the country. If I hear a gunshot from my house, I tend not to think much of it. It's most likely a hunter sighting their weapon, or a farmer scaring off a coyote. However, three gunshots in a row mean SOS.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
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  10. Stephen1974

    Stephen1974 Member

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    Well, except perhaps the US army.

    What is this person a security guard for? shop security? personal protection?
    Unfortunately I cant find the video I want but there was a good tv program about close protection training and that had a great firearms section in it. You could look on youtube for stuff and see what they are saying. A lot of the above advice has been housekeeping stuff, not how to use a firearm properly.

    Interesting Moose (what battalion? I was 5 RGJ. Only TA but Hi.) mentioned no quick draw stuff but this video showed how to do quick draw shooting and it was interesting to watch the technique. It was also interesting to see something that wasnt taught.

    They had several people shooting at once. They start out weapon raised at arms length and moving forwards before a target pops up and they start shooting. Two of the three people on the range had slightly bent arms. One had rigid arms. Having rigged arms hurts a little, bent arms is more comfortable. (Try it pointing your finger as a gun, left hand gripping right hand or vice versa and you'll immediately notice the difference) The instructors didnt make note of this or try to correct either style.

    The person with rigid arms always got their shots off significantly faster than the other two because the other two had to take time to brace before shooting.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  11. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Contributor

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    Sounds pretty irresponsible to just give her a semi-automatic (which I think you meant) without any official training, but if it's sci-fi and there aren't that strict safety regulations in place in your world, I guess it's plausible. Sorry, but I get irked if gun owners or people who carry guns are portrayed as irresponsible. The reality is quite different, though of course the dumbasses make the news.

    Despite being a member of the EU, my home country has a strong gun culture which has given me quite a few chances to handle firearms (we also have a 9mm at home), and the one thing you learn is that gun owners are crazy diligent, extremely by-the-book, and very responsible.

    You learn to keep your finger off the trigger. You learn to check if there's a round in the barrel (either to make sure there is, if you want to keep it ready or to check you haven't left it there by accident if you're doing dry-fire drills). You learn how difficult it actually is to hit a target, let alone a moving one. You learn you don't just pick it up and get a-shootin'. Maybe you aren't hitting the target cos you're limp-wristing, or get so nervous about the recoil you subconsciously compensate by slightly dropping the barrel upon squeezing the trigger and then you hit the sand. You learn to do dry-fire drills and practice unholstering/reholstering and aiming at home with click rounds.

    Then you also have to take care of your gun like any other tool. Fieldstrip and clean it. You have to wear ear protection because they're loud. If you're an unaccustomed girl with not-so-strong fingers or arms, things like loading the magazine to the fullest (unless you use a loader, or whatever it's called in English) or simply racking the slide can be difficult at first.

    This is just some stuff I experienced... I'm sure there's plenty more.
     
  12. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    Having your arms bent is the correct stance. It's called the Weaver Stance, and it's standard for military and police. You tense up when you pull the trigger. In fact, I always feel like I'm "pushing" the bullet out because I tend to move the gun forwards as I pull the trigger to compensate for the recoil. I'm not sure why locked arms would help you shoot faster, in fact, I imagine the second shot would be slower from the sting in your elbow. How big was the gun you were working with? If it hurt a little with a 9mm, it'll really hurt if you try a .45.
     
  13. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    There are some good pictures of stances here https://www.policeone.com/police-products/firearms/training/articles/7981637-The-3-shooting-stances-Which-ones-right-for-you/

    Although that said in the army i was taught to shoot one handed, but tbh they didn't put a lot of emphasis on combat pistol - the pistol was about punching holes in bits of paper to win competitions. In a firefight things would have to have gone pretty badly for an officer to have to rely on his 9mm for self protection
     
  14. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    2RGJ - ie what was 3 RGJ prior to the reorg in '92 (although I didnt join until early '94)
     
  15. Stephen1974

    Stephen1974 Member

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    I have no idea if it hurt. Im saying there is a physical difference between having your arms slightly bent before shooting and having your arms already braced. You may feel that you are pushing the bullet forward and that you have been taught correctly, but up against this women, you would be dead, because she was shooting noticeably faster than everyone else, purely because she was already braced. If i could find the video you would understand why its faster, but to try and explain it, all she had to to was pull the trigger. Everyone else had to extend their arms and then pull the trigger.
     
  16. Stephen1974

    Stephen1974 Member

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    Didnt know someone called Dave Neye did you? he would have been in 2 RGJ at the same time.
     
  17. NobodySpecial

    NobodySpecial Contributor Contributor

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    Part of the problem with a locked elbow/stiff arm stance is the jolt from the recoil will jar your arms and move you off balance, causing you to have to reaquire your target for the next shot. No matter what there's going to be a jolt, but with your arms more relaxed you won't be thrown as far off target making that reaquisition a bit quicker, slightly bent elbows will absorb the shock better. I don't recall my elbows ever being sore after a trip to the range, and I usually go through a few hundred rounds once or twice a month.(and spend the next day cleaning guns)
     
  18. Stephen1974

    Stephen1974 Member

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    Maybe im not explaining myself properly but you guys are missing the point i'm trying to make. Never mind. My fault.
     
  19. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    The security comp I worked for (Securitas), had training for those given a weapon.
    An automatic pistol? Machine pistol? Or are you talking about an easy use semi-auto
    such as a Glock?

    Well it depends on what they are issued, but I would guess it would be a 9mm which
    is fairly standard. More than likely it would be a make with a safety (some pistols don't
    have a safety once a round has been chambered beyond not pulling the trigger.)
    As for training, they would be taken to a range and taught how to load and fire the weapon.
    As well as how to handle it safely in a situation, and quite possibly how to clean and maintain
    it.

    http://www.military.com/join-armed-forces/army-weapons-qualification-course.html
     
  20. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Doesn't ring a bell , but we are talking 20+ years ago.... what rank was he ?
     
  21. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Assuming she hit you of course .... coming back to the OP an untrained person is likely to miss with their first shot and against someone who does know what they are doing they might not get a second. If I was irresponsible enough to arm people who don't really know what they are doing a pump action shot gun is probably the way forward. Or if it has to be concealable a sawn off double barrell .... of course the latter is illegal but as the OP is dealing with the future
     
  22. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    This little double barrel booger would make a mess of things. :p
    2ft spread at a meter, with bird shot.
     
  23. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    I didn't say the stance was wrong, but I really don't think it matters that much. I may feel like I'm pushing the bullet out, but in reality, I'm just countering the recoil, the bullet has already left the chamber. My wrist was still tense the whole time.

    I think one of the bigger factors is mobility. I just feel like a weaver stance is far more mobile. It's basically a boxing stance.

    Honestly, the differences in performance are probably so minute that the comfort level of the user is a bigger deal so people should try them all and do what feels right.

    Also, I want that little shotgun! Eh, on second thought I'd probably subconsciously view it as a toy and guns should not be associated with toys. I still kind of want it though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
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  24. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    I think my advice to her would be to get another job. Anyone who would issue a pistol to a person of unknown capabilities to provide security for their premises is both a fool, and at serious legal risk. In fact, the less rules the future society may have, the more responsible the person issuing someone arms would feel.
     
  25. Stephen1974

    Stephen1974 Member

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    No idea what he ended up as, but around that time he would have only just joined.
     

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