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Thread: First pistol

  1. #91
    *Flashaholic* Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: First pistol

    PW, after a while the finger will feel natural outside of the trigger guard. Since the gun spends the most time in the hand while not being fired you'll eventually only feel natural when the finger is resting along side the frame. The brain will go into "fire" mode when the finger comes off its home position.




    Dudemar, regarding the your driver analogy, I'd have to break it into 2 groups. Group 1 would be your DMV book example. In group one would be the basics like safety, learning to use the vehicle control controls, and rules of the road.

    Group 2 would consist of anything that occurred outside of the rhelm of normal driving. By never taking any higher form of learning they put themselves at higher risk if something goes wrong. Maybe they've never had any time on an obstacle coarse or race track with a qualified instructor. Perhaps they've never practiced and emergency lane change, felt their car slide or even used their brakes anywhere near their full potential....most drivers haven't. In other words anything that occurs outside of the drivers normal range or envelope of knowledge could potentially throw them a serious loop.

    When the driving analogy is transferred over to shooting, group 1 would be the basics starting with safe operation and shooter technique. Group 2 would be taking the training to a level outside of bulls eye shooting. Maybe that's "tactical" shooting for some, like those interested in CCW, but it could just be leaning the advanced bio mechanics and mental training necessary for High Power or Silhouette shooting.

  2. #92
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    Default Re: First pistol

    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot36 View Post
    PW, after a while the finger will feel natural outside of the trigger guard. Since the gun spends the most time in the hand while not being fired you'll eventually only feel natural when the finger is resting along side the frame. The brain will go into "fire" mode when the finger comes off its home position.
    Thanks, Patriot. I'm sure it will take time and practice. I've got a lot of things to fine tune including my grip. One instructor said that I should be placing one thumb next to the other, and I haven't gotten into that habit yet either. I'm not suire how much that one matters as I seem to be doing ok with my accuracy without that, but we'll see.

  3. #93
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: First pistol

    You're welcom, PW - just passing along a little something I heard somewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonWrangler View Post
    One instructor said that I should be placing one thumb next to the other, and I haven't gotten into that habit yet either. I'm not suire how much that one matters as I seem to be doing ok with my accuracy without that, but we'll see.
    Fully gripping the pistol and the resulting aid in accuracy is only part of it. As you move onto other guns (which you might or might not do), you'll find that certain thumb placements interfere with the gun's controls, or that you can't operate the controls properly.

    The most "simple, logical and universal" (I was taught basic gun skills should adhere to those principles) way of placing your thumbs to prevent these instances is to place the thumbs one next to the other. If you adhere to the 3 principles, you'll have less trouble when using unfamiliar guns.

  4. #94
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    Default Re: First pistol

    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot36 View Post
    Dudemar, regarding the your driver analogy, I'd have to break it into 2 groups. Group 1 would be your DMV book example. In group one would be the basics like safety, learning to use the vehicle control controls, and rules of the road.

    Group 2 would consist of anything that occurred outside of the rhelm of normal driving. By never taking any higher form of learning they put themselves at higher risk if something goes wrong. Maybe they've never had any time on an obstacle coarse or race track with a qualified instructor. Perhaps they've never practiced and emergency lane change, felt their car slide or even used their brakes anywhere near their full potential....most drivers haven't. In other words anything that occurs outside of the drivers normal range or envelope of knowledge could potentially throw them a serious loop.

    When the driving analogy is transferred over to shooting, group 1 would be the basics starting with safe operation and shooter technique. Group 2 would be taking the training to a level outside of bulls eye shooting. Maybe that's "tactical" shooting for some, like those interested in CCW, but it could just be leaning the advanced bio mechanics and mental training necessary for High Power or Silhouette shooting.
    Great post Pat36!

    My analogy was geared more towards folks who start making up their own rules after they "throw the book out the window", stubbornly thinking they are always in the right.

    "I've been driving/shooting for X years!" is a commonly uttered phrase. That just means you've been doing it wrong for X years!
    Last edited by dudemar; 12-21-2008 at 05:01 PM.
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  5. #95
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    Default Re: First pistol

    Quote Originally Posted by greenLED View Post
    You're welcom, PW - just passing along a little something I heard somewhere.



    Fully gripping the pistol and the resulting aid in accuracy is only part of it. As you move onto other guns (which you might or might not do), you'll find that certain thumb placements interfere with the gun's controls, or that you can't operate the controls properly.

    The most "simple, logical and universal" (I was taught basic gun skills should adhere to those principles) way of placing your thumbs to prevent these instances is to place the thumbs one next to the other. If you adhere to the 3 principles, you'll have less trouble when using unfamiliar guns.
    Also when firing a semi-auto handgun, be sure to not put your palm near or on the magazine. This leads to jams/feeding problems.
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    Default Re: First pistol

    Quote Originally Posted by dudemar View Post
    Also when firing a semi-auto handgun, be sure to not put your palm near or on the magazine. This leads to jams/feeding problems.
    Do you mean on the bottom of the magazine? I usually keep my palm against the side of the handle.

    Oh, and I've learned the hard way about keeping my fingers away from the slider while firing. Ouch!

  7. #97
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    Default Re: First pistol

    Yes the bottom, and if possible any contact with it during firing.

    The slide can be painful. Just try to stay out of the way of the action and you'll be ok. I owned a Desert Eagle 44 Magnum (my first gun) and it has dual recoil springs. If my finger was in the chamber area checking for a round and it accidentally slid shut, I would've lost a finger.
    Last edited by dudemar; 12-21-2008 at 07:26 PM.
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    Default Re: First pistol

    Speaking of loosing a finger. . .Make sure this doesn't happen to anyone.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wu3RO3Lr4fM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrLIZ...eature=related



    * * * GRAPHIC PICTURE SHOT * * *




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  9. #99
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    Default Re: First pistol

    Depending on what the Admins think I don't think that picture will be up for very long...

    Last edited by dudemar; 12-21-2008 at 09:28 PM.
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  10. #100
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    Default Re: First pistol

    finger doesn't touch trigger unless your are ready to fire
    don't ever point your weapon at anything you don't want to destroy
    always assume weapon is loaded unless proven otherwise

    this gets back to practice.. practice and more practice.
    the more trigger time one gets in... the more proficient one gets.. nothing complicated about that.

    most of my trigger time is spent with IZH 46M 10 meter pistol set to 230 grams. with a trigger that light... you don't go anywhere near that trigger unless you are ready to fire.

    under stress your body reacts differently... think holding a hair trigger on an unknown target... this why my preference is for a double action trigger... at least for the first shot.


  11. #101

    Default Re: First pistol

    on tuesday i am going to go to the sheriffs office to get the forms for a pistol permit, of which i want a "sportsman" permit so i can target shoot. lots of things going through my mind. any suggestions tips or questions you may have for me will be greatly appreciated.

    thanks
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  12. #102
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    [Holy cow; just looked @ this thing & must apologize for its length, especially when it could be described then demonstrated in well under a minute. Using words to describe properly a manual skill is frustratingly inefficient; worse yet when there’s no immediate feedback & potential risk exists. Anyway, I think I’ve got it right, finally.]

    Photon,

    Don't think I saw anyone mention this (my bad if I missed it) but it’s hard to cycle the slide because you’re compressing two springs simultaneously: the one that returns the slide to firing position (back ”in battery”); also the hammer spring (which produces hammer strike impact). I’m assuming this to be an “administrative” function, i.e., shooting @ the range or some other situation where the extra time spent means nothing. Simply split the job into two: cock the hammer first — maintaining muzzle discipline (pistol pointed downrange or in a safe direction). Mandatory behavior: you MUST keep your finger straight, outside & above the trigger guard. Remember, the action you’re drilling will make a pistol ready to fire. Your finger should remain off the trigger until your sights line up on a recognized target. Start watching TV/movies & see how many of the actors’ fingers go onto the trigger as soon as they pick up their movie “weapons”. Now, check the pix of Marines & soldiers in the news. No matter how uncomfortable the position may be while holding their rifles, you’ll see fingers visible outside the trigger guards. Professional. (If in doubt, look to the pros.)

    Don’t know how you’re cycling the slide now, but this may be a better method. Hope I can manage to describe clearly in words a manual skill. Rather than use conventional training terms (strong side/weak side), I’ll assume right handed use. Important point: if you don’t do this @ a gun range, two things are critical; always, always observe these. Positively absolutely ensure the pistol is unloaded: magazine removed & chamber empty. Both look (mag well & chamber) then feel w/a finger (same two; mag well & chamber). After all, you may have to perform this in the dark, right? Hey, we may have great lights here on CPF, but turning on your megalumen Surefire searchlight while you work on your pistol is NOT A GOOD THING... ;-]

    Now, leave everything except the pistol — the loose round (from the chamber, if it was loaded), the magazine & ALL live rounds in a one room. Go to a different room & identify a structural wall (e.g., the “safe downrange” direction; something that’ll stop a bullet if you screw up). Permit no live rounds in the room w/you. Be rigorous & disciplined about this. Follow it every time you practice & those accidents will occur to someone else. (Those “accidents” are, nearly always, more properly classified as negligence. Carelessness. Or stupidity.) Gun handlers need to have a Zero Defects mentality, procedure-wise. It would be much better, also, if you have an experienced gun handler watching you. Following a list is not the ideal way to master a manual skill. Anyway, the steps of procedure:

    Point downrange, pistol held in your right hand about shoulder level, a foot or so in front of you. (Never hold @ waist level. Looking down is a VERY BAD THING in a threat environment.) Realize that, under stress, you will revert to whatever you’ve practiced, good or bad. Do it correctly from day one. Allow your peripheral vision to pick up changing threats — even if you have to look at the pistol — by maintaining high line-of-sight. With proper practice, you’ll routinely perform this w/o looking @ the pistol: fingers are working, but you're continually scanning your surroundings.

    Regarding the cocked/uncocked hammer, you can try it both ways. You may find that, w/the proper procedure, you’re able to cycle the action starting w/hammer down.

    Cup your left hand, fingers & thumb together, & bring this hand forward, over the top & down onto the rear of the slide. ALWAYS bring your free hand onto the pistol from its rear, closer to your chest. Always be respectful of the muzzle; your manipulating hand must never stray near it.

    I don’t know the Keltec, but presume it to be a small pistol from the small caliber. Realize that a correct left hand grip is more difficult w/a “pocket pistol” simply due to its small size. The pads of your fingers should press on the right side of the slide, behind the ejection port (the cutout where empty casings are kicked out). The heel of your left hand should press onto the left side of the slide.

    (Note: your fingertips should always leave the ejection port clear. Your grip — to cycle the action — should always be the same. Now, w/an empty chamber, there’s no consequence if you’ve trained carelessly, allowing yourself to block the ejection port. Later on, clearing a malfunction, properly cycling the action becomes a critical skill. Flawed technique could prevent you from returning your pistol to service in an emergency. Or, if you stick a finger inside the working parts, you could wind up w/a finger being “bitten” by your pistol; never a fun thing.)

    Squeeze firmly w/left side fingers then do a push/pull w/your arms. Your right hand arm should push directly forward towards the target(more on gun side arm position in a moment) while your left pulls back. Do not release your left hand; allow it to slide off automatically by using a firm (not fierce) grip. Follow-through helps in many sports, as it will here. Your right hand/pistol should not extend completely straight. Your left hand should open then lightly slap the upper right side of your chest. If you picture the lines of movement (std clock orientation here, 12 o’clock is straight ahead, to target; watch your six means check your tail, etc.), ideal would be right hand pushing towards 12; left moving towards 6.
    (Additional safety aspect: slapping your chest ensures your free hand won’t float out in front of the muzzle of the now cocked-&-loaded pistol’s muzzle. If you practice your cycle-the-action movements which leave your free hand near the pistol, you’re training a risky behavior which is a dangerous habit.

    Dangerous behavior note, which could be a threat to you @ commercial ranges:
    Be very wary of shooters who have trouble cycling the action. You’ve probably realized already that anyone can exert more strength (in this situation) by doing two things: moving hands closer to the chest & pushing across your body w/both hands (as opposed to the push/pull toward & away, which I’ve described above). You’ll see shooters w/little upper body strength (right handers, here) who resort to swinging the muzzle to their left. It makes it easier to cycle the action this way (right hand now pushing towards 9 o’clock; left hand pushing to 3), but it’s somewhat disconcerting (!!!) if you’re the unfortunate shooter who happens to be standing to the left of this incompetent. You may be covered by the gun muzzle. I’m probably on my second hand, counting the # of times I’ve had to dance backwards off a firing line because some moron did this. After all, if they can’t properly perform this most basic skill, who knows what they’ll do next? (Guarantee you’ll get the rangemaster’s immediate attention if you do this. They do get excited when someone violates procedure.)

    The push/pull is not a violent, uncontrolled action. Absolutely crucial point here: your trigger finger MUST remain straight, outside the trigger guard as you push forward w/your right arm. Again, this sequence chambers a live round, so once the slide moves forward, chambering a live round, your pistol is now hot.

    Now, return your left hand to your shooting grip (the push/pull of a Weaver type, I expect). Once again taking care that you move this free hand into your firing grip from the pistol’s rear. Remember that, w/a tiny “pocket pistol”, it’s far easier to violate good muzzle discipline.

    Final thought: feel free to practice w/empty hands initially: right finger pointed out from a fist; left cupped above the right, then moving back to slap your collarbone. Then move on to the empty pistol, only loading when you're competent. You achieve speedy competence by going correctly but slowly first, then increasing your speed. Happy shooting.

  13. #103
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    Default Re: First pistol

    Hi jbharrold,

    Wow, thanks for all of your great tips! Clearly you're very experienced and have an excellent grasp of safe handling procedures. I like your description of "Zero Defects Mentality" this is what I'm trying to develop.

    The Keltec that I have is the type that has the hammer shrouded, so I don't have access to it to alleviate the spring pressure while operating the action. What I've since found out is that the main problem for me was a lack of a good grip, which I resolved with an application of ladder tread tape along the side. It made all the difference in the world, and while the slide is still tight, it's more than workable for me.

    Thanks for the tip about avoiding swinging ther muzzle while cycling the action. Yeah, I can see how that would seem to make it easier to cycle but could pose an immediate threat to a nearby individual. Duly noted.

    I've been impressed with the helpful and sober attitude towards firearms here. Like I've said eearlier, I'm still a newbie at this and still working on marksmanship and operational discipline. I think I'm doing ok so far but the pointers I've received here from yourself and others are always gratefully accepted.

  14. #104
    Unenlightened jbharrold's Avatar
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    Default Re: First pistol

    Photon,

    If you mod your flashlight & it quits, you've probably got a second somewhere on your person, right? (Isn't that a pre-req for membership here?) Where's your backup pistol, though? Heck, carrying just one produces headaches. Anything effective is too big to conceal easily; then it weighs enough you must consider method of carry. And forget moths; sometimes it seemed mine made as many holes in my clothes as holes in targets; didn't matter if it had rounded edges, etc. So, if you're going to carry only one, that one has to work. Every time.

    I'm always reluctant to consider adding anything to a pistol (or any other emergency device) which could interfere w/its operation. I've seen people cut bike inner tubes, for example, to use as an inexpensive nonslip grip. Just stretch & slip over the grip -- but that's down in a safe area. (One cheap friend used to tell people his pistol was a custom model, imported by "Yokohama".)

    Tape placed near the slide, however, is something I'd never do. (I know; easy for me to say, since I've no problems cycling an action.) Nevertheless, you're expecting one thing to stick to another that's oily; potential problem here. (It is oily, right? you do maintain it? While a quality revolver will probably function w/a gum wrapper around its cylinder, autos are high maintenance, by comparison. Keep it clean; keep it lubed.) Once you're CCW certified, that tape is going to undergo constant abrasion, into & out of the holster. Or bounce around in a bag/purse on occasion. In a holster, one side (or in a shoulder holster, both sides) will ride against your body. And get warm. And moist. Many adhesives lose some of their adhesiveness when heated. None of these things bode well for that tape remaining in place.

    A question: if you do not carry a second mag (third? fourth? just kidding...), why add the risk of tape? You're never going to reload in the field. Instead, use shooting gloves when training. I know of one woman who successfully learned auto manipulation in spite of substantial hand/finger strength problems (arthritis in her family tree). She cut strips of regular cloth athletic tape for her fingertips, heel of one hand, etc. Looked silly, but it both protected skin from abrasion & gave her hands a better coefficient of friction; added a little cushioning, too. She was a tape-monster throughout a multi-day course but it worked for everything: the drill, drill, drill of combat reloads, failure drills, etc. She graduated w/a justifiably high confidence level in her newfound abilities. [After all, if it looks stupid but it works, it ain' stupid.] Do cut the stuff, though. Tear the tape & you'll have little hanging strings that can foul the action.

    I won't address training here, but seriously consider getting some solid training yourself. It's tough, on your own in a new endeavor, to develop a skill you can perform under stress. Cops are required to shoot periodically by department policy. And they do combat shooting (or should; most do). Few civilian ranges permit 3 yard targets, quick draw, rapid fire, moving after you fire (shoot & scoot) or other skills you might need. Law enforcement is probably the largest carry-all-the-time group in the US & they aren't so hot w/handguns. (That's actually pretty kind; believe hits on target go something like 1 of every 6 or 7 shots fired, & I think those represent hits of any kind.)

    Good training is available to civilians. It's not cheap, but view it as a life's investment, then cost drops out of the #1 consideration. Just ensure you choose wisely.

  15. #105
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    Default Re: First pistol

    Quote Originally Posted by jbharrold View Post
    Tape placed near the slide, however, is something I'd never do. (I know; easy for me to say, since I've no problems cycling an action.) Nevertheless, you're expecting one thing to stick to another that's oily; potential problem here. (It is oily, right? you do maintain it? While a quality revolver will probably function w/a gum wrapper around its cylinder, autos are high maintenance, by comparison. Keep it clean; keep it lubed.) Once you're CCW certified, that tape is going to undergo constant abrasion, into & out of the holster. Or bounce around in a bag/purse on occasion. In a holster, one side (or in a shoulder holster, both sides) will ride against your body. And get warm. And moist. Many adhesives lose some of their adhesiveness when heated. None of these things bode well for that tape remaining in place.
    That's a good point and well taken, jb. I'm already on my second set of tape.

    A question: if you do not carry a second mag (third? fourth? just kidding...), why add the risk of tape? You're never going to reload in the field. Instead, use shooting gloves when training. I know of one woman who successfully learned auto manipulation in spite of substantial hand/finger strength problems (arthritis in her family tree). She cut strips of regular cloth athletic tape for her fingertips, heel of one hand, etc. Looked silly, but it both protected skin from abrasion & gave her hands a better coefficient of friction; added a little cushioning, too. She was a tape-monster throughout a multi-day course but it worked for everything: the drill, drill, drill of combat reloads, failure drills, etc. She graduated w/a justifiably high confidence level in her newfound abilities. [After all, if it looks stupid but it works, it ain' stupid.] Do cut the stuff, though. Tear the tape & you'll have little hanging strings that can foul the action.
    I will look into shooting gloves. It makes sense to apply the grippy stuff to the fingers rather than the firearm. Yes, it does get regular maintenance and cleaning, and it has yet to malfunction a single time at the range. It doesn't get used all that much - just the occasional session at the range - so it really doesn't have a lot of miles on it yet. But if I ever need it in a real situaiton, failure is not an option.

    Speaking of failures - I've also fired a Phoenix .22 and found that there's a huge difference in it's tendency to jam based on whether i"m using flat-nose or rounded ammunition. It seems that the flat stuff has a real tendency to jam because it doesn't quite guide itself into the chamber correctly. Have you experienced this?

    We've also test-fired a number of different brands at the range today, looking for evidence of tumbling rounds, and it seems that we consistently got no evidence of keyholing on the target with one particular brand of ammo. I'm guessing that this has some bearing on a round's stopping power...?

    I won't address training here, but seriously consider getting some solid training yourself. It's tough, on your own in a new endeavor, to develop a skill you can perform under stress.
    I did take the basic safety / CCW course and I have my permit, although I'm sure I could do more in terms of real situational training. I hardly expect a real life encounter to be anything like aiming at a stationary target, so I'll probably look for additional training at some point. There is a good training center in town that a lot of the LEOs use.

  16. #106

    Default Re: First pistol

    Cops aren't hot with handguns compared to Rob Leatham. . .

    . . .or to the average handgun owner with zero training?

    I don't know of combat hit percentages kept for anybody except cops, so what is the benchmark for combat accuracy? Surely not what people are doing at the range?

    I'd argue that if you don't have any holes in your body (or put any in the good guys) when the shooting stops, you're doing all right.

  17. #107
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    Default Re: First pistol

    if one actually goes and shoots... one finds in a hurry how bad or good they really are.
    get your safety procedures basics down pat and don't over analyze.

    me.. couldn't hit the side of a barn door when I started.
    seriously... couldn't hit a pie plate sized target at 15ft with multiple shots. that's pitiful!!!

    that woke me up to start practicing... thousands of rounds later.... surprise, improvements!!!
    now I can consistently hit a 50 cent piece sized target at 15 yards off-hand with a 10 target meter pistol. which by the way is nothing compared to real 10 meter pistol shooters. who are judged by bulls at that distance.

    you cannot fire thousands of rounds and not improve. IMHO the best way to get trigger time is with a quality air pistol with aprox. same size/weight/trigger pull of your firearm.

    look for an old Benjimin .22 or .177 pump up pistol made out of brass with wood grips. heft is same as a firearm with a nice trigger pull.

    don't get me wrong... firing off live ammo is best, but prices of defensive ammo quickly goes off the chart. then factor in range time, etc. etc. one is more likely to practice when there's a handy/safe target inside your home or yard that costs next to nothing to shoot.

    besides... most defensive firearms are carried a lot, but fired very little.

  18. #108
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: First pistol

    Quote Originally Posted by jbharrold View Post
    Dangerous behavior note, which could be a threat to you @ commercial ranges:
    Be very wary of shooters who have trouble cycling the action. You’ve probably realized already that anyone can exert more strength (in this situation) by doing two things: moving hands closer to the chest & pushing across your body w/both hands (as opposed to the push/pull toward & away, which I’ve described above). You’ll see shooters w/little upper body strength (right handers, here) who resort to swinging the muzzle to their left. It makes it easier to cycle the action this way (right hand now pushing towards 9 o’clock; left hand pushing to 3), but it’s somewhat disconcerting (!!!) if you’re the unfortunate shooter who happens to be standing to the left of this incompetent. You may be covered by the gun muzzle. I’m probably on my second hand, counting the # of times I’ve had to dance backwards off a firing line because some moron did this. After all, if they can’t properly perform this most basic skill, who knows what they’ll do next? (Guarantee you’ll get the rangemaster’s immediate attention if you do this. They do get excited when someone violates procedure.)
    If you catch yourself (or somebody else) having to do this, an easy way to avoid pointing the muzzle in a dangerous direction is to pivot your body 90º. For a right hand shooter, that entails moving your right leg back 90º. You end up with your left shoulder pointing downrange. This of course only if the "slingshot" method J described doesn't work and you're stuck with no other way to cycle the slide.

    I think I mentioned this before, but +1 on the training, BTW. People (and I include myself) don't realize how much they don't know about firearms until they start training under a serious and reputable instructor. Like J said, something that seems so hard to master and understand via written word, may take a few minutes to explain and then master.

    Personally, I wouldn't train with gloves. I subscribe to the thought that you should train exactly like you should carry. YMMV, of course.

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