By golly, your training has been coming right along! You’ve taken a basic pistol class, a concealed carry class and watched a ton of youtube videos showing all those classic training scenarios. And, of course, you’re hammerin’ rounds down range!! You’re becoming quite the stud / studdett!
It’s early morning; you couldn’t wait to get to the range! Last night you watched an amazing shooter – nationally known, heavy competitor in IDPA, USPSA, IPSC – and you have it down! You watched, visualized and now you’re ready to make that draw yours!! Hence the early morning range session.
So, you “load and make ready”. Normally you’d be here with your range bud – but he/she actually had to go to work today so you’re goin’ solo – just you, the early morning air and the nasty lookin’ guy whose mug is plastered on the target. And you’re gonna plant that sucker hard.
You’re also packin’ a new toy – a shot timer. The guy in the video swore by it and you are determined to decrease your draw time. What better way that to draw against the clock? And its great practice for the up-coming IDPA shoot next weekend – your first. Great morning, new toy, bad guy target and all that new knowledge from youtube last night – what could possibly go wrong??
A half-hour later things have been goin’ great! Your time is dropping, your speed reloads have been ok and your groups are beginning to tighten. Time to sit at the bench, reload your mags and get ready to build your speed – that’s it baby speed!! Everyone knows that you have to draw, clear and plant your first round under two seconds. You’re down to under 4 – time to “push through”!
Reloaded, rehydrated and clear headed you head back to the line. Damn it’s a great morning. Cooling breeze, birds chattering away and the whole bay to your self – hell, the whole range. What a great day to be alive!!!
Timer on your belt, eyes, ears, cap tight to the top of your glasses . . . . you push the “start” button on the timer and face the asshole in front of you on the target – “you’re going down baby – hard!!”
“BEEP” . . . . you sweep back your garment, grip your weapon, yank with all your might (where’s you support hand right now??) but something’s isn’t right, your weapon is stuck or something – what the F***? So you give one final, hard yank – BLAMMMMMMMMMMMM!! – the sound echoes, a blinding white streak of pain shoots through the inner thigh of your strong side leg . . . . WTF?????????
You look at your leg – the blood is pulsing strongly, it’s bright red . . . .
You’re having a hard time standing on or moving your leg . . . .
Your mind hits the panic button . . . . you gotta get to your cell phone, it’s in your range bag. You head towards the table, reach into the bag – no signal . . . . nothin’, nada, zip. Ah, or course – you have never been able to get a signal out here . . . . you need to get to your car, get to the main road, make that 911 call. “Maybe I should have taken that first aid course that covered – what were they called?? Oh, yeah – “blow outs”. Probably too late now. You notice that you can’t think real clear, you’re starting to feel a bit cold, clammy, you’re starting to sweat pretty heard. You can start to feel your pulse in your ears. You mouth is getting dry. Your legs are getting heavier. The blood is still spurting a bit but not near as bad. It’s still bright read though. You remember something about a femoral artery – warnings to be aware of your muzzle when draw . . . . “Keep your finger off the bang stick!!!” your last instructor was fond of saying. And yet, here you are . . . . in the process of bleeding out.
You hear the gate open – what the hell, it’s Frank – holy crap – it’s Frank.
Hours later, as you are recovering in your hospital bed – you ponder your day. Perhaps you still have a bit to learn . . . .
So what really happened? Was it you? Was it your weapon? Was it your holster? How did you touch the “Bang Stick”?
I’m going to spend a few posts going over why that weapon in your holster goes bang, what determines when it goes bang and the things you MUST CONTROL to make sure Fred doesn’t find you on the range pad some morning, a hole in your thigh and you life’s liquid spread all around your carcass.
The first post will cover the mechanics and chemistry of the cartridge. The second, your weapon and how it makes the cartridge go bang. Next – holsters, what is the best one for you? Are some better than others? Are there any that are just flat out dangerous? And finally – YOU – the steps that must be taken to remove your weapon from your holster and engage your threat without having your family cash in on your life insurance.
There’s a video popular on many sites right now by Tex. Seems he shot himself. There’s more to why folks are pointing to this video but for now, here’s a gentle warning . . . . you have the opportunity to shoot yourself every time you draw your weapon or put it in the holster. Fair warning – keep your head in the game!!
Stick around . . . .